Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In With the New and Out With the Old

Happy January!

It's a new year people, with bright ideas and sturdy goals for the upcoming 365 days. 
I definately have more fun planning the goal list than I do working on the goals I'm afraid.

How about you? What are your goals?  Is it to lose the dreaded weight we put on over the holidays?  Is it to be more kind to people?  Is it to be more money savvy?

Think hard on it, what would you like to do? 

This article is going to be a short one.  That's only because I'm going to get busy working on my goal list. 

Right now.

Have a blessed New Year.  Be good to people.  Be charitable.  Be honest in your business dealings.

Just be.
Fairchild Farmgirl





Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas...Conquering the Fiscal Cliff

Who would'a thunk that having our ninth kid would've made my world crazy?  I really apologize for not blogging lately.  It's been hectic to say the least.

So as we look at the calender and the sights around town, we see that Christmas is fast approaching.  Did you break the bank on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or like our priest called Thanksgiving Day or "Blood Thirsty Thursday"? 

Not me...crowds aren't my thing.

I would love however, to talk about Small Business Saturday.  I know, I know, it's come and gone, but we can treat the whole month this way by spending our money locally. 

For the hard to buy for, pick up a gift card from Steele's Service or one of the many gas stations in Canby.  Each year when Gate City Store gets their chocolate covered peanuts in, I'm right there.  They make a great gift...after all, who doesn't like them? Not only that, but they really have some good deals here and there.  Back before we raised our own pigs, we used to buy all our bacon from Rob's locker.  He has the best bacon.

Then there's Canby.  Many business' come to mind.  Paper Moon (the best wrapping paper), Mobergs Meats (best brats!) Rhonda's Originals, Cenex (who wouldn't love a gift card for gas?) etc. The most fun that I have with the kids each year, is when I take them Christmas shopping at Canby Drug.  Before we go, I sit each of them down and we talk about a budget and what each child would like to get each of their siblings. 

They have a budget:

$1.50 per person.

That's right.  The older kids have to PUT IN $1.50 to match my $1.50 for each sibling.  It seems when they have to shell out a little green, more thought and caring go into it. 

So as I sat down with Rachel, we talked about Cody. 

"I bet Cody would love gum or a new mechanical pencil" I said to her as she wrote a future purchase very carefully for each child.
"Or I could buy him a new laptop" She said matter-a-factly and not looking up from her paper.

Something tells me she's sailing down the fiscal cliff like a bat outta Haiti!
Sincerely,
"Furiously laying down the law for when Levi suggests getting Dad a new tractor"
Fairchild Farmgirl.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

To My Fellow Halloweenies.

Some of you might expect me to talk all about our new baby that we had September 8th and not stop this whole article...

I'll refrain.

Even though he is so cute, chubby, perfect, and I just want to kiss the crap out of him non-stop, I have even bigger fish to fry: 

Halloween.

I could start out with a story, true even...that happened 6 years ago on Halloween night:

My blond haired, blue eyed, heifer riding Rachel was born!

But I digress...

Back to this very special month of October: 

Look around you...the crops are in, the beetles are out, the dogs growing her winter fur, the ram is doing what he's supposed to be doing, the culls in the feedlot are doing well, even dropping calves every so often. 

The air is also crisp and the frost is definitely on the pumpkin. 

So, do you know what time it is?

Time to open the farm up to school kids, families and parties.  It's the Fairchild Pumpkin Patch time! 

Time to introduce kids to Sweetie the heifer, let the kids feel a sheep and watch a piglet poop all over my sweatshirt when I pick one up so they can feel it's bristly hair. 

Tis the season to stay up on Friday and Saturday night way past midnight making apple pies and filling orders for caramel apples.

Waiting for the sounds of kids giggling as they run through a 200 round bale maze or laugh as they take a ride on a barrel train. 

Wondering what the classes that come out are going to think about all the smells and sounds that come with riding through our feedlot, picking out their favorite cow and touching and smelling the feed that the cows eat. 

Listening to moms and dads chuckle at some of the funny haunts that we have made on the walking trail...

Yep, bring on October...Fairchild Farms is ready for it. 

Sincerely,

The Soon To Be Caffienated Farmgirl




PS...Here's baby Tedd looking very suprised,, LOL!  He's named after Ron's wonderful uncle Ted.  He's missed so much but seeing baby Tedd's face makes us feel like Uncle Ted is right here with us. 











Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hillbilly Hog Fishing



As I'm sitting here waiting not so patiently to have this baby, I thought to get my mind of fthis wrenching backache, I'd write a blog post.  After all, last night came the best fodder for a story yet. 

Hillbilly Hog Fishing.

I know, what??? 

Well in the picture above, can you see two market weight hogs?  One's blackened by mud, and ones got a sunburn.  =)

Yesterday morning was my doctor appointment and our dear friend and neighbor Joyce came to watch the kids so we could go there by ourselves and not be bombarded with questions, like, "why do you have to take your pants off mom?" 

It was nice, I actually got the nap in the truck.  It was heavenly.  We got home and Joyce told us that the pigs got out and her husband Randy came to put them back, with a little bit of our other neighbors "help by phone" to tell him where they go.  What would we do without great people in our lives?

I won't even tell you how Joyce cleaned our house.

If I did, you'd probably kidnap her.  She totally didn't have to, but probably felt sorry for me. =)


It was grody.

I digress...now to the story at hand.

So when she left, Ron went out and counted the pigs.  The two big ones were gone.  They have a date with Moberg Meats in town on the 17th.  Not good. 

We went out looking for them and I actually spotted them in the lower part of the feedlot.  "Let's wait til the kids get home," Ron said as we sized up the situation.  "I think they're fine." He said.

"I don't think so," I said, they look dead. "They're okay", he said.

After supper, Cody went out there and came back up.  "Mom!  I hear from the yard.  Those pigs are stuck in the clay and cow poop.  I don't know how they're gonna get out." 

What?  How does a pig become stuck?  Aren't their bodies designed for mud? LOL!

Well after supper we all head down to the feedlot.  Because you know, it's not everyday that you get to see two supposed stuck hogs in your feedlot.  It was better than Heehaw with popcorn. 

Big D asked if there was a chain in the box of the four wheeler and Kara who was at this point on the sidelines, took it out to him. 

Then.got.chased.out.by.a.Charolais.  Not to laugh at our kids, but dang...it was so funny we all laughed.  First mistake, as soon as it started bucking at her a little, she took off running.  Second mistake...she ran right into the corner of the fence.  He was hauling butt right after her.  I've NEVER seen anyone climb a fence that fast.  She didn't stop until she was up about 7 feet.  "Can he still get me?" 

"I don't think he's a good climber." I said between giggles.  "IF he was going to hurt you for real, he would've smoked ya before you even got to the second sucker rod on the fence.  He was just playing around." 

Now she got to see what we get to deal with every day.
 



That's Big D taking a breather from trying to push the pig out.  He's gathered quite the crowd.  Sorry for the bad pic, you'll have to just imagine this little scenario in your mind.  There's Cody with the chain that they wrapped around it's belly and both pulled. 

Well, they eventually got it pulled out, and we got them both out of the feedlot.  What an ordeal.  Then it was trying to get them back up to the hog pen.  So after we got boots scraped and sprayed off, had a kid in the shower, a kid in the kitchen sink and another kid in the bathroom sink (it was getting late, come on work with me here!) 

I got yet another uncomfortable question after I was tucking in and kissing good nights...

"Mom, can you still smell feedlot on me?"

Sincerely,

Fairchild "I'm going to try to invent something that will get the crap smell off of my kids so they can go to school the next day". Farmgirl







Monday, August 13, 2012

Here She Is To Save The Day!!!!!!!!!!!!



Now read the title of this blog over again in a sing song fashion...I kid!  Only if the mood strikes you. 

By the way, I figured I needed to blog since God gave us a wonderful rain this past weekend.  I've said before that I'm as spotty as a rain shower, well, here I am.

Back to the story:

Now, for some of you this story is a repeat.  If you've seen Grace (pictured above) in the gas station, the grocery store, the post office or if you've stopped out at the farm to buy a tomato, you've heard it already.  It's a good one, and she claims she's a cow hero, so here it is, one more time...

Our daughter Kara and I were up testing grapes for the buyer as well as doing some picking from what the cow birds had missed (last year we were told that birds were color blind and not to worry about our white grapes.  Apparently they got contacts or had a optometrist visit, because they cleaned out 70% the whites in three days.) Argh!

Grace and her little sister were riding their bikes around the cattle pens and raced up to where we were at. 

"MOM!  There's a cow in the west pen having a baby!"

What?    I thought to myself?  That pen is all steers.  We have taught the kids to come tell us when there is something out of the ordinary so I thought I better check on it. 

We all load up in the big wheeler and head down to see a steer on it's side, severely bloated, and...

Big D.not.around.

Dang it!  BTW, Big D could be here 6 months straight and things would go so smoothly, the minute he leaves, I seriously think the critters plot against me.  That day he was putting in a kitchen in town.

I crawled over the gate as fast as a 8 month pregnant 38 year old could go and went to size up the situation. 

NOT GOOD.

By this time, he had banged his head against the ground so many times that his eye had swelled shut.  I tried to get him up myself and that wasn't working.  I called Ron and told him, then found one of my wonderful neighbors on his tractor and convinced him that he needed to come with me.  After all, I only needed him for "10 minutes" ...LOL!

After trying to shove a hose down his throat unsuccessfully to try and get the gas out, I called the vet and thought maybe we could stick him (with a knife) as long as we knew the exact area to do it in.  You have to be pretty precise. 

Just then, Ron pulled up, got the bobcat and helped the steer to his feet with the bucket.  You could tell that the bovine felt better already just by being on his feet.  Then the vet showed up and used the coolest tool ever. 


See that red circle on it's back?  That is to keep it from bloating.  The vet uses that to keep the bloated stomach open then as the stomach heals, the cork screw works itself out.  Isn't veterinary medicine fascinating?  Well, it is to me.  Later that evening Big D and I went to a baseball fundraiser where we sat with a married couple who live down the road from us.  He showed me how to do it with an IV needle if I'm ever in that situation again and alone.  Very cool. 



So, if you see Grace out and about ask her about her heroism...she'll look at you with those serious blue eyes of hers and tell you, "Yep, I saved it's life. You know, it's always important to look through the cows and see if you see anything strange.  If you do, you gotta tell your mom or dad."

Sincerely,
I think my kids rock, Fairchild Farmgirl.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When The Jig Is Up




Remember when you were a kid and if you lived on a farm like these three (mine) you had imaginations and you could make a great toy out of just about anything? 

Well sometimes you get in trouble with that attitude. 

Each night I bathe these three and there is actual grit/sand/corn screenings/mud or whatever else you can imagine in the bottom of the tub.

In this particular picture they snuck down in the bunk and got into corn screenings.  At first I thought this was some pig feed, but Ron filled the big feeder so...

this.kind.of.thing.wouldn't.happen.

As you can see, they're all white, Maggie on the left is laughing because that's what she does when she gets in trouble (yikes), Levi is crying because he's full of drama (yikes again), and Jessica well, she was just along for the heck of it (see Farmgirl's hair turn gray).

My favorite dirty memory as a kid? Having to screen the cat poop out of our gravel pile with old window screens each morning before my brother and I could play in it.

Looking back at the house that I grew up in with five siblings, looked like ones that I paint.

 Abandoned and scary looking.

I also think back at how my parents didn't have running water and when we had to take a bath it sure the heck wasn't every night and water had to be hauled in and boiled (and I recall being this dirty a lot!). 

I know...I AM only 38.    Those were some hard times back in the 80's when they farmed.  My but my grandparents lived in Minneapolis and were very wealthy, so going there was such a treat!  I remember taking long baths every night and because of this, I still love the smell of yellow Dial soap.

Okay, I went down memory lane and missed the road sign that said "you can stop now".

Back to these three.  They were at it again tonight, except they were playing "garden" in the huge clay pile and walking through duck poop with bare feet.

"Mom!  Get your kids in the tub!"  As Ron hauls them in one by one without letting them touch the floor and straight to the waiting bath. 

Then as I took Jessica's diaper off it was full...

of clay.

Come on, she's a farm kid!

Fairchild Farmgirl


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Shorty...When You're Upside Down



Just remember, somebody out there will find you and help you out (or right side up).

Good evening folks...enjoy this beautiful weather, our families, freedoms, this country and anything else that is appreciated. 

Your busy, (but hopefully not too busy for my readers very soon....I'm truly sorry about that friends.)

Fairchild Farmgirl.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Random Acts Of Farm Babies


Baby chick.


Not all babies here are animals...here's a Ginger Gold Apple.


Baby ducklings.


Baby kitties.  Two lived three died.  First time momma.


This is Oreo/Stormy/Cereal.  This was Big D's calf, but he's graciously selling it to  pay for Grace's horse to be trained.


These are black raspberries, not quite yet ripe.


This is our hoop barn with out the plastic up.  It's all planted.


Baby grape clusters.


To round out our baby chapter, here's some baby pigs on the run.  Have a great day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Stakeout


 Sweetie the heifer who decided one day to stick her head in the front door to see what was up.  Right through the screen.




This year I thought I'd be battling bugs and weeds in my fruit crops. 

Not so.

I've got a critter battle going on, and that's the worst kind.  On our farm, I'm in charge of all the fruit and vegetables.  This year I'm hoping that you will see a self serve stand or two called "Fairchild Farmgirl Produce" around our neck of the woods.

That is, if I can keep these animals out of everything. 

Let me just say that when I first saw my strawberry bed, I was delighted.  Tons of blossoms on all my plants.  'This is my year!,' I thought foolishly.  Then I left them alone.  A watched pot never boils right?  I went back a week later only to see strawberry plants eaten.

WHAT?  Then I saw her the next day.  Sweetie.  Eating my strawberry patch to her hearts delight.

Out in the apples it was the same story.  All my Honey crisp blossoms eaten along with inches of leafed out branch.  "Big D!  There's something eating my apple blossoms!  You need to find it and kill it."  I snapped at the poor man who had too much to do already.

"I know what it is." He told me with a laugh.  "It's big and black and weighs close to 900 pounds.  Find a way to keep her in and you'll be fine."

Dang Sweetie!

So finally we put up a fence that could keep her in.  Five jewels of snap that she doesn't even look at anymore. 

Problem solved? 

Nope. 

Out in the strawberries, I notice that the plants are growing again, but the blossoms aren't there.  Then I spot her...a hen.  Eating blossoms. 

Dang chicken!

I called up Don Denekamp and told him I had a gift for him, a hen that eats strawberries.  He took her and put her in his chicken coop.

Problem solved?  Nope. 

The vicious circle keeps a spinin'.

"Mom!  Your sheep are out in the apple trees and they're eating them!"  Why aren't they just "my sheep" when the lamb check comes?

"Mom!  Your sheep are out in the grapes again!  They're not even touching the grass, just eating leaves and clusters!"  When did they grow?  They shouldn't even be able to reach the clusters.

That's right, we haven't tightened sagging wires yet. 

Last night D and I drove around the place and found that the sheep were out once again.  But guess what?  We found out where they were getting out!  Found some tell tale signs of wool sticking to the fence.  We're a modern day Sherlock Holmes detective team! 

Later on, I was feeling pretty good about the whole deal and doing dishes, when Big D comes in and shouts...


"Your stupid dog is eating chicken eggs again and got'em all over her face!" 

My stupid dog? 

Happy Trails,

"Defender of Food", Fairchild Farmgirl

PS I was out checking strawberries just now and my stupid dog was eating them too.  I think it's going to be harder giving away a smelly New Foundland, so I better find a way to deal with her, right? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello World!



Here's Mamma Puff's little brood as they explore...the barn yard by the hog feed bulk tank.  Not exactly the world but imagine how big it is to them?



Old Mamma had to make a hard decision however.  Probably not hard for her at all.  She's an animal after all.  She took her six and decided that the rest of the nest wasn't worth setting on.  So she up and left it...with all those eggs.  We cracked two open, one wasn't fertile but rotten and the foam shot across the kitchen landing on the pizza that I hadn't put away yet from dinner. 

Sorry Cody, no leftovers for breakfast.

After a few sprays of Lysol and opening up all the windows, we were back in business.  We cracked another.  There was a baby chick inside, but dead.  For the eggs to be still "with live chick" they need to be at a constant temp and if that temp gets cold for more than 4 hours, they are dead.  That's what happened we think. 

But, she also had to get these 6 to feed and water within 48 hours so they would live.   I wish we'd have come along sooner, but she had these hidden in the barn. 


So, now you know the story...the one thing that we now worry about is...


Cats.

Signing off,
Fairchild Farmgirl

Monday, May 7, 2012

When The Rubber Hits The Road...Or So To Speak



Good afternoon kids!  I know I've been a sorry blogger, but when the first signs of spring hits until the first frost come November, I'm like a spotty shower in July...hardly ever around.

Okay weird analogy but I'm doing my best.

So I told my Facebook friends that I was going to blog about this the other day, and the other day turned into two weeks ago, but I  found a pocket of time while I wait for the hay grinder to leave while the cattle bus waits for us to get him loaded.  Here goes:

When a banding goes wrong.

Big D called me down to the lots (about two weeks ago) and asked me if I'd ever seen something.  Funny, when he asked me to come down there and look at something, I was under the assumption that he made me something and it was in the cattle shed. 

What kind of crap is this pregnancy doing to me?

Oh, he had a gift alright....



Nope I can safely say I had never seen that before.  Particularly not after a ham dinner on a Sunday night.  

That kids, is when a bull is banded but only the sack falls off and not the cords.  There is an extreme amount of blood that came out of this poor fella before the vet came.  I worried...Big D worried.  This was in a group that we had picked up from the sale barn, so we couldn't even give the vet crap for not banding it right. 



Here the vet is sewing him back up.



Here's his needle. It's curved and kinda neat.


The needle below is what Jeff used.  Any guesses to what that large needle is for?  Now ladies, cross your legs..that is to sew up a uterine prolapse.  Can we all say, "Yooooowwwwwwwwwwwwiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee!"? 

Note to self, when in labor, push hard, but not tooo hard. 

Sincerely,

Fairchilf Farmgirl



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Just Ducky



Hey peeps, these are the chicks...er, I mean ducks...I mean soon to be ducklings.

Last night we washed another 26 eggs to put int he incubator.  Sometimes I wish I had more hens to lay more eggs, then as I wash them at about 9:30 pm once a week, I realize, "hey 3 is plenty."



This is the pile drying while we are washing the incubator.  It's nearing 10 PM and I'm thanking the good Lord above that I only have 3 laying ducks. 



Here Big D is writing the dates on one side (note to self, always write the date on eggs...you don't want one that's been in there for too long.  Whewww the stink!)


That makes 52 eggs (about) to hatch.  The dirty ones are just from the last 5 that hatched out and walked all over them. 

Signing off,

Fairchild "Crazy Egg" Farmgirl

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Momma Puff



This is whom I call, Momma Puff.  Momma Puff is one of our hens who decided to start nesting one day behind a piece of plywood. 

Normally a hen wouldn't puff and fluff her feathers but she's got a lot of eggs to cover....


See how some of the eggs are green and brown?  That's because Momma Puff takes a break, gets something to eat, hangs out at the water for a little bit with her hen friends while another hen who doesn't want to be disturbed by taking care of eggs and nesting, quickly jumps on her pile, lays one and gets off before Momma Puff comes back. 

I think MP must come back, look at all 30+ eggs, sighs maybe says "darn it",  gets back on pushing the eggs under her and puffing herself up to cover everything.

So when you think you've got too much going on and you feel trapped and overloaded,

Think of Momma Puff, sigh, say darn it and plow through it. 

If Momma Puff can do it, so can you.


Sincerely,
Fairchild Farmgirl

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Caught In A Love Triangle

                                                             courtesy of  http://www.nps.gov/guis/naturescience/those-roguish-raccoons.htm

Hey everybody.

I'm tired.

Do you know why I'm tired? Not because of pregnancy, cattle, pigs, sheep, kids, impending garden/vineyard/orchard issues, but...

Because I (we) are caught in a love triangle.

I'm sure you guys are like "what?  Last we knew you were happily married.  What's going on pray tell?"

 I guess it's better to say that we are party to watching a love triangle.  Well, since the flashlight battery was almost dead, I suppose it's more like we were party to listening to a love triangle, if you have to get technical about it.

I know, I know, how come we were listening in on it?  Are we disgusting people that are into that kind of thing? 

No certainly not.  Let me tell you about this "middle of the night escapade". 

It all started this way:

Three AM.  Maggie came into our room crying about falling off the couch while sleeping.  For.the.second.time.  So I put her in bed with Big D and I went to try to get some shut eye on the couch. 

It's safe to say that last night, our living room looked like a frat house on a Friday night.  Kids sleeping everywhere.  'Did I feed you something weird tonight or did I let you watch a bad show, what's going on?  Why is no one in their beds?' I wondered as I positioned kids elsewhere so I could have the big couch to  myself.

Then I fell asleep.  It took me about 3.5 seconds.  Suddenly, I'm awaken by snarling and caterwauling (I know, had to be serious to caterwaul, especially since I don't know what that means but sounded good anyway).  Grace sat straight up on the recliner, "mom!  what is that?"  It could've raised the dead for Pete sake.

Just then, Ron comes flying out of the bedroom.  "Where's a light? There's some raccoons fighting in the grove."

Now, I don't know about you, but I never see any raccoons around.

Ever.

Oh, I know there here, but they're sneaky.  Every spring when the air is nice, there maybe a breeze, before the feedlot stinks to high Heaven, we will have the windows open at night in our bedroom.  Our bedroom backs up to the grove.  Which is apparently equal to a happening raccoon make out spot.  AND you hear it...raccoons...for like a week.  Every night.  Seriously.

As they screeched, screamed and snarled for a good 10 minutes, I imagined two big males out there on a limb of an old dead cotton wood and a female sitting there trying to look beautiful.  I don't know, maybe secretly thinking what idiots these guys were and the males fighting for her. 

When Ron came back in the bedroom with the flashlight, he pushed the button only to have it go dim right away.

"Darn batteries!"

By that time Fluff had come by our bedroom window and Ron told her, "go get them girl!"  She responded by laying down, as if to say, "no, it's kind of fun to listen to', or she was saying "it's 3 AM and you don't have a decent light, AND I'm not going out there by myself."

Or maybe just Fluff and I need some more sleep! 

Sincerely,
Your very tired Farmgirl

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sheep Sitting And Nine Other Crazy Things That Happened This Week

  v


This week has been "something else" for the lack of a better phrase.  Most of it I can't remember right now because I choose not to.

It will give me a headache. 

And the majority of it happened in about 2 days.

But I will give you this weeks highlights in a top ten form: 

10.  Sheep Sitting - Yes, at our farm.  Our son was supposed to fix fence for a guy that is using the state land next door.  Well, the poor guy came to drop off his sheep on the pasture ground and Cody didn't do a good enough job (our bad, we should've checked it out.  After all, the kid is only 14, and has never fixed fence by himself before).  So while the guy was ranting to me about how mad he was (he had every right to be) I opened my big mouth and told him to unload them here and I would take care of them until the fence got fixed. 

SO...here I sit with sheep.  That aren't my own.  That I'm feeding.  My hay.  But I won't complain, they are actually kinda growing on me.  I like them and the funniest thing came out of Grace's mouth.  She ran up the driveway from school, ran in the house and screamed "Thank you mom for getting us llamas!  I love you!" I'm like, llamas, what the heck? "Mom, you know those llamas in the hog pen!  They're beautiful!" 

Sorry honey, they're huge sheep! 

Hee hee!



9.  Spring cleaning...everywhere! -  What is that grossness under the dish washer?  "Kids, go check it out."  You just wait, they'll be CSI investigators yet!



 8.  Hatching chicks, ducks and one seriously homely looking goose - I have to say first of all, most of these 200+ chicks came from our Runnings store.  But this gathering eggs, washing them (only once in Dawn dish soap - oops, sorry 25 ducks that went bad!)  and watching them hatch, well its' just good for a person ya know!?!


7.  Watching an idiot get stuck - Then tearing up the bottom of our lawn.  This actually looks a bit better, it was kinda smoothed out with the bobcat to get rid of the deep ruts.  When Ron was gone (that's of course when all the magic happens) a truck loaded with gluten came to the yard to drop off.  I could tell he hadn't been here before, so I thought I'd flag him down and tell him where to go since I didn't want him getting stuck and going int the wrong place.  He drove darn near up the whole driveway and started to back down. 

With me trying to flag him down the whole way.  Which he did see me because I was about 5 feet in front of his cab like a crazy lady. 

We.made.eye.contact.  After the stupid move he made next, I wanted to have my fist make contact with face, but oh well, I'll hatch out more chicks, do origami and take an anger management class. 

He backed in the wrong way and got so stuck trying to get out of it.  What was stupid is he kept givin' her heck when he knew he couldn't get out.  Hence the almost 12" digs he made in my yard. 

So then...he gets out of the truck comes up to me all mad and says, "I've never been here before how does everyone else do it?" Then, not sorry, just "what do ya got to get me out?"   

No kidding moron? 

The first thing out of my mouth was "what the hell was that?"  and "not anything that isn't hooked up to something, I suppose I'll have to drum somebody up" and I took off in a huff,  Jessica in tow.  Now I know some guys don't want to listen to a woman...

But I think he should next time, don't you?



6. Washing Wool - I've done a lot of this in the last few days!  I sent some off to the mill to get done, now this is the next that will be going there.  I also have a beautiful deep brown that will go there too.



5. Nursing this goofball back to health - Beginning of the week was bad.  Then I went out to the barn and there she was, eyes sunken in, breathing hard and looking like crap in general.  I would've sworn she was fine the day before.  I laid on her and bawled my eyes out.

 The vet came out and fixed her up.  She didn't do too bad with all the shots, but the funny thing was he gave her this high energy thing through a tube in her throat.  I had to laugh when Ron, who was holding her with all his might said, we should've just put this in a calf bottle."

Anyway, I gave her a massage the other day and slowly did a rectal temp on her (she didnt' even know) and she's fit as a fiddle once again. 


4. Paying for this thing to be fixed - All of the sudden, clunk, chug, puff...DIE.  We had to pull it on the trailer with the bobcat. A fuel pump, cam shaft (cam something), oil change and something else later...oops that would be our $800+ check to fix it we got it back.  Now, I don't know about you all, but we need this thing.  When you are fixing fence a mile down the road and you forgot a tool, it takes a heck of a long time to walk back, hence the "ride" is a great thing. 

I missed you Ranger Crew.  Glad you're back...this fat girl doesn't want to run back a mile to get a pliers.


3. Thinking up constant egg recipes - Power down hens!


2. Working in the orchard & vineyard - It sure is funny how romanced your place gets over the winter.  I mean how great it is going to be to get outside and work in the fruit. 

ERRRRRR....will I ever learn?  This has taken a lot of time friends...

and it ain't over yet! =)


That brings us to number one.

Two nights ago, Big D and I were completely shot.  We had just washed and incubated a ton of eggs and spiffed up the kitchen and it was 11:30 PM.  As we were crawling into bed, D says," Do you hear that?" 
"No!" I groaned, I didn't want to hear anything anymore.
"It's something in the toy box chattering.  Damn those toys that make sounds!" The toy box is directly on the other side of the wall from his head.
At that point I didn't care and told Big D to go out and find it if it was going to drive him nuts, which he did.  Suddenly, I hear toys being thrown, words I can't put into this family friendly blog, and toys sounding off.
"Do you need some help?" I ask as I walked out there.
"It's coming from here," he said pointing to a spot in the toy corner that was about a foot deep with assorted small toys. "Watch out," he said, "it can throw its voice!"

Okay buddy I think you need more sleep than me.

Every time you would move something it sounded like there was a high pitched squirrel chattering.  You would stop and so would it.

This went on for a few minutes and we got to the point where we were so tired and on a mission to find it, a chuckle turned into hard laughing and soon we were both crying with laughter.  So when we finally found the little thing and D had threatened to shoot it in the morning with his rifle as it sat on a post, we pick it up only to hear another one chatter;

Hee, hee, hee, hee!

So 1. is finding your kids noisy Zhu-zhu pet at midnight in your  underwear (not a pretty sight) and hoping you don't wake your kids while you throw the toys in disgust across the room. 

Love,
Your crazy Fairchild Farmgirl













Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fairchild Family Vacation (Pretty Much The Griswolds, Only More Of Us)


So before all hell breaks loose for the spring, summer and fall, we took the kids on a vacation. It was wonderful.  The first morning I woke up and there wasn't any cow poop smell filling my nostrils. 

Where the heck was I????

On the shores of Lake Superior, near Silver Bay, MN where I went to high school. 

It was actually to spend Easter with my family for a change, then celebrate my parents anniversary and their birthdays.



Here we are in all our glory.




Here's Grace after too much sugar from the Easter Bunny.


Here's the van after yours truly hit a deer two hours into our trip.  What can I say?  It was bound to happen, on the stretch of road we were on there was dead deer littering the side of the road like garbage.  It was insane.  Right before it ran in front of me, I thought about what it would be like if I hit one.
 
BAMM!

Then I knew.

But we went to a concrete place used a crow bar to get the bumper off the wheel and we were on the road again.  Scraped off the guts and we were on our way.


We stayed here and I found myself never wanting cow manure to enter my nostrils again.  On the last night of our vacation, after everybody else went home to their real lives, I went down to my sisters cabin and we got to hang out.  It was awesome.  Here's the website if you want to stay somewhere amazing.  Oh, and the picture is courtesy of Cove Point Lodge.



We also took all the kids hiking at Tettigouche State Park about 5 miles away.  I used to hike there a lot with my BFF Mickey.  Although, I don't think we ever got lost in the wilderness with eight kids that were hungry at lunch time.   But we made it through.

Overall, this was a great time!

But you know what? 

By the last morning....

I woke up thinking about how I needed to smell cow poop.

Sincerely,
Fairchild Farmgirl

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crazy TUESDAY With Jennifer Wilhelm




Welcome to another addition of Crazy Monday! I'd like you to meet a cool rancher gal named Jennifer Wilhelm. I just got home from vacation and I was lucky enough to have my Monday post right in my email account. Unfortunately, like we all know on a farm or ranch, there were so many chores to do and things to check that it's going to be a "Crazy Tuesday" for me.

SO with that said, take it away Jennifer!
    Life on a ranch can be crazy busy at times or just plain crazy. I have learned this the hard way over the last 5 years that I have been a rancher’s wife. I didn't grow up on a ranch; my dad was in the military. Sure it was in Texas so I was around horses and cows and always dreamed of being a rancher’s wife, but the reality however is very different from the dream.

But better.

The one story I would love to share is how I broke my finger bottle feeding a calf.  Here it is:

It was the first year we were at the ranch and we had our first bottle calf. The mom had twins and this one was the one not getting enough milk, so the hubby brought her home. We had her for about a month or so at the barn feeding her, when I went down early one Saturday morning to feed her myself. Our youngest daughter was only 2 years old at the time and she was with me while the hubby was up at the house.

Now I had to be quick when I was finishing feeding the calf or she would try and make a break for it out of her pen through the gate when I was trying to close it. The gate is made from 2 inch steel pipe frame with a welded wire cattle panel. So I finish feeding the calf through the gate, which would have worked, except for the dog and the horses. At the time, our heeler and horses did not get along!  He was in the barn yard with the little one and myself, as I tried to finish feeding the calf and close and latch the gate all at the same time. I was watching the dog and the horses, trying to keep our youngest daughter from getting kicked or ran over while feeding through the gate.

That would have been okay, but while my hand was in the welded wire with the bottle, the calf butted the bottle sending my index finger on my right hand into the wire panel. Now this was the first time I had ever broken a bone, so it sent me to my knees, the world around me started to go dark and all I could think of was I had to stay awake to keep my daughter safe. I managed to keep from blacking out, got the gate latched, got out of the barnyard and started yelling for the hubby on the way up to the house. The hubby knew that my finger was broken, just not how bad.  We headed to the emergency room, only to be told by the ER doctor, that they were not sure but they thought it was broke! Ended up at the vet and sure enough it was broke, not bad, but enough to need a splint for a few weeks.

 Talk about a rude awakening to ranch life! I had been on the ranch less than 3 months! I can say now though that I no longer try and feed a calf and close a gate at the same time and I have been able to feed calves for the last 4 plus years with no more broken bones!

Thanks so much Jennifer!  Oh by the way, check out her AWESOME Etsy site:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyTwistedStitches and her blog called:  Ranch Wife Tales http://ranchwifetales.blogspot.com/

Sincerely,
Fairchild Farmgirl



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Birth, Death And Our Crazy Farm Life



Last week was nuts and you know what?  The nuttyness factor is popping into this week as well.

Yes, the nuttyness factor.

It's a word!

First of all, we lost momma goose.  However, it was really stupid how we lost her.  No, we didnt' take her to town and drop her off or anything.  Last Monday it was really windy and the geese and ducks like to lay in the shade and wind protection of our 2004 3/4 ton GMC lawn ornament (the tranny's out on that pick up).

Not sure what sparked her to run straight into the running board on the driver's side, but she clotheslined herself and had enough oomph left to crawl under the truck and die there. 

I know...dumb.

Apparently, they mate for life (or so Big D says so he can butcher the gander) and he's pretty lonely.  He now goes up to anything with a chrome on it and talks to himself.  I don't know what the conversation is, but the standing in front of my vehicle when I'm trying to get up the driveway has to end or he will.  It's getting bad when I have to carry a cattle stick in my truck, quickly shoo him away and hurry up the driveway as he chases me as if to say, "hold on...I have no one to talk to!"

I know...even dumber than a goose suicide. 

We need to be a reality show.

Then we had great news! 



Sunny was born!  Number four for my future herd.  We almost got killed by a Hereford that thought we were taking her baby away (sorry girl, remember, we took yours away the week before.)  Lets just say, she tried to push her way through a sucker rod fence to get to me, bellaring "MAAAAAAAAA!" and shaking her head the whole time. 

I was scared!

Then, here's where the crazy came in.

We had a sheep start to lamb. 

Wohoo!


Cute enough, a ram lamb that I can register and sell.  Awesome!  She's pretty fat, is there another one in there?


Not looking good.  She couldn't pass this to save her life.  It took two strong doses of Oxytocin before it came out, along with this:


Finally she passes a ton of this white stuff.  At first I thought it was fat, (she may have ripped) but I knew better, it would have been yellowish.  I thought maybe it was a decomposing lamb, but I thought that would stink to high Heaven.  =)

I called the vet and he confirmed that it was indeed a lamb absorption (there was way more white chunky stuff especially all over my hands) to come after this photo.  So gross.  It didn't stink because it was in a sterile environment and no bacteria was allowed in.

I learn something new every year. 

I also learned that this mother is a doorknob.  The next day she laid on the lamb, even though she had a huge pen and killed him. 

Glad she's not my momma!
Sincerely,
Fairchild "Crazy Life" Farmgirl

P.S.  Don't worry about the goose.  He found a new friend.  The dog.  They hang out. He bites her a lot and she lets him. 

I know...even more stupid than goose suicide, gander self talk and lamb suffocation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crazy Monday With Therese Staeger


This sure has been a crazy Monday!  I apologize for not getting this blog done sooner, but I assure you...

It's totally worth the wait.

I JUST KNEW Therese would have a great yarn to spin. 

I wasn't disappointed.

Some of my favorite stories of all time came from the 30's, 40's and 50's.  What a great time to be alive.  From now, they sure looked more simple and laid back but I'm willing to bet they had just the same hard times farming and ranching as some of us face, just on a different scale. 

In comes the story from Therese.  It's a wonderful tale of her early years on a sheep ranch with her parents in Wyoming.  I sure hope she will share more of them with us someday.  I feel like stories from this era are slipping away and people feel like no one wants to hear them.  I know I sure did! 

Without further adieu, my friend and soon to be yours, Therese Staeger.



Sheep Shearing In The Thirties

Back in the pre-ww2 era ranching was done a bit differently than it is now in some instances.

The United States produced a lot of sheep, wool for clothing, bedding and good carpet among other things. Lamb was popular and it did not come from New Zealand and our Beef was from here too. Changes are not always necessary or bad but our ranchers today must face the outside competition and still make a living.

In the late thirties I was a small child, very curious and under foot too much of the time, it was the start of my education in animal husbandry. I loved every animal and still do, I have a special fondness for sheep the first animal that wasn’t so huge alongside of little me.

Sheep shearing time was a special time in the spring in Wyoming, My uncle Frank Eychaner and his brother Orville had a good sized sheep ranch near Mayoworth as did several others in the area. At shearing time they used a large community shearing shed and pens where the sheep were brought to and shorn, which could last many days into weeks with the amount of sheep being shorn. Shearing then was done with hand blades, later electric ones were run by a generator and eventually regular power when it became available.

My mom, aunt and her sister in law cooked for all in the adjoining cook house. Everyone had a job to do and was very busy with the exception of my cousin Florence and I. Any trouble that found us was her fault she was old enough to know better, my part into anything was: OK!

First thing we went to the shearing shed to watch the action of the wool coming off in pretty much a large sheet leaving a clean creamy

almost naked sheep behind, the wool tier making a bundle that was tied with twine and then tossed up to the wool stomper inside the huge wool sack. I was really impressed with that! A few days later while everyone was eating I went by myself to the shed, climbed the frame and jumped in the sack where just a few wool bundles had been tossed in. As soon as I landed in the bottom and looked up I realized it was a long ways to the top, I noticed sheep ticks on the inside of the sack. YIKES!! I managed to get out and back to where I belonged, I didn’t even tell my cousin. A well learned lesson for the day.

The next day we decided to visit Orville’s tepee. Lambing in those days was done out on the range using small lambing tents when needed. The Eychaner sheep wagon was down by the cook house so my brother and Florence’s cousin, the two babies had a quiet place for naps. So Oroville put up a small tepee to be with the sheep at night. It was cute, had a canvas floor too. Inside on one side was a rolled up bedroll, in the corner was 4 empty beer cases, we were thirsty so tipped up a few bottles to see if there was any beer left…nothing!

That bedroll looked interesting so we untied the ropes, unrolled it crawled in to check it out. Somehow it didn’t go back quite like we found it…our reasoning was "he" will never notice!!

The moral is.. NEVER TOUCH ANYONES BEDROLL IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE! I think the folks in Kaycee heard him yelling about those girls better not come near his stuff again! He loved us both all of his life and always gave us big hugs and happy to see us. We never bothered

anything of his ever again. Later when I was older I learned how to make a proper bedroll.

Thank you ever so much Therese!  Don't you think she needs to share more by writing a book?  I told her I get the first copy! 

Sincerely,
Fairchild Farmgirl

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crazy Monday With Vicki Hinders


I would like you all to meet my favorite person and good friend Vicki.  I invited her to do a guest spot on my blog because being a country vet tech I knew she'd have at least ONE super funny story for me.   

I wasn't disappointed.

For some, she may look familiar.  Not only does she live about 5 miles from me, she's also been on some of my blogs because she works for Clear Lake Veterinary Clinic;  the outfit that works cattle with us. 




Sorry Vicki...I have a lot of pictures of you vets out.  The cool thing about her is not only is she a great tech (by the way, she knows as much as the vets) she's a great mom of those three pictured above, her and her husband Stacey run cattle and she has a great dog grooming business on the side. 


She's probably the only one that could handle Fluff Dog.

Fluff dog is a spazz when getting her hair cut. 

Who am I kidding?  Fluff is spazz all the time.




This is Fluff after a trip to Vicki's.  She does an awesome job!

But without anymore distractions....here is Vicki's story.  It's about her side business grooming and a dog's bond with it's owner...

AND a steel door. 

But I'll let her tell it. =)  Meet Vicki....

Here is my story and I am sticking to it. LOL!

Well, I have this customer that is very elderly that has a hard time getting around and his dog is very connected to him. The owner is a bachelor and his dog is his family.  His pup feels she needs to take care of him and does not like to be detached from him.

I decided to pick up the dog for him because of his difficulty moving (did i mention she hates to ride in the car?) and then I'd take her home to groom, then bring her back.

Did I also mention that she's a lab -springer cross?  High strung!  

Well,  I have 3 children and things can be busy and I seem to have extra kids over all the time (sometimes Fairchild Farmgirl's 8). The first time I groomed her the kids opened the door just at the wrong time and off she went out the door in a flash!  

Amazingly, she heads in the direction of her home. 

I immediately went out to get her but she eluded me. I called her owner as I was following her and he came out picked her up and we were all happy. Luckily she was almost done I put the finishing touches on her and off she went with her owner. 

The story should be over right ?

Well the next year we did the same thing, having me pick up the dog.  But we had it a little different this time, I had to pick up kids from daycare because I worked that day. 

Well new year, new grooming game plan.   Did I also mention that she will eat my kennels if I put her in them?   (Now I knew not to do that because of 1st time). 

OK lets recap she hates kennels (eats them) hates to ride (acts like you are going to kill her) and doesn't care for kids.

But she does live in a garage when she does have to be away from her owner. 

So this was our plan: I would drop her off at our garage on my way, from there it's three miles into town. I'd also call daycare and have her get the kids ready because I need to get back home. I was literally gone for only 7-8 min and WOW there she was running down my driveway!

 Thank God I had her leash on her this time and caught her! 

Anyone guess how she got out?

Probably not...

Through the steel walk door.   She started on the bottom and ATE her way out. 

In less than 10 minutes!!!!!

I have not made any money on her after replacing a $130 for a new door. Unbelievable that she only had a few scrapes on her mouth after making a 12" hole in my steel door. I did finish grooming her she went home and we made a game plan for next year.

YES, I still groom her.

Well, now when I groom the dog, I just have him bring her over and he has to stay there, sitting on a chair next to her...

We are all happy then.

Thank you so much Vicki, you are a super friend!  Not only because we can call each other and vent, meet at the park with our kids, exchange recipes and gossip working "chute side" together, or the occasional family get together (it's our turn I know), but the fact that as I write this,


you are grooming my huge weirdo, and cursing me loudly because I have a large New Foundland that got dropped off at your house with a gazillion burrs in her 3 inch long fur.


Luv ya girl!
Sincerely Fairchild Farmgirl


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Think Spring...Let's Incubate Some Eggs!


Yesterday was very important for us as a family.  We have gathered a bunch of eggs, Rachel and Ron marked all the eggs and all the kids had a hand in filling the incubator. 

Now, mind you, Ron has been incubating eggs since he was a kid.  His family breeds pheasants and collect eggs.  I can't be sure of how many thousands his dad still hatches every year, but his incubator is SUPER COOL! 

It's awesome. 

And huge.  You can do hundreds of eggs at a time.  It looks more like a walk in cooler than anything, until you open the big door on it.  Some day I will take some photos of it. 


This is ours.  It's a start. =) 


This is what we have in there.  The biggies are the goose eggs.  See the one in the upper left corner?  That was so big I HAD to put it in, even though I promised Big D that I wouldn't put any more eggs in there...I swear it weighed three pounds (that was after I told Cody not to tell him that I had just put in five duck eggs.) 

SHHH!!!

I want a good hatch! 

When we butcher these ducks this fall, do you know what I'm going to make first?  Asian Duck Tacos.  I have found soooo many great recipes for duck, I'm super excited!

Sincerely,

"Don't count your duck, geese and chicken eggs before they hatch" Fairchild Farmgirl