Friday, November 15, 2019

Getting Ready for Winter

Misty enjoying the sunshine.

We've been working hard on the farm. Every spare moment is spent getting the livestock pens, stalls, and flower beds ready for winter.

We are really enjoying the nice weather! It's so nice to have weather around 60's in the daytime because it's the perfect weather for working outside.


I cleaned out Echo's pen. I moved 2-3 wheelbarrows full of manure every day.
A little bit every day really adds up!


The weather this fall has been wonderful! I was able to clean out the
flower bed in the front yard, plant some daffodils and tulips that will
bloom in the spring, and cover the whole flower bed with mulch. 
What's mulch? That's a funny word!

Its dirt that used to be manure, leaves, bark, and chipped trees. It covers the ground keeping the weeds from growing, and it is good 'nutrition' for the soil. It's like fertilizer that helps the plants to grow next year.


The chickens are getting ready for winter, too.
They lost all their old, summer 
feathers and have
grown new 
feathers that will keep them warm for the winter.

Lucy is the little chicken with the curly feathers.
She's so pretty when all her 
feathers grow back.


The weather is still dry so the chickens have a few places that they like to take their dust bath. They love to get the dirt in their feathers! They love flapping their wings and digging with their feet.

It doesn't make sense to have a person take a dust bath, but the fine dirt helps keep the chickens' feathers clean, and it keeps the mites (small bugs) from living in their feathers.

I wouldn't want mites, either!



Sometimes the ducks are resting inside the stall,
sometimes they rest outside in the sunshine.



Mishka will not behave. She won't leave her cast alone. She needs to wear a cone. She likes this soft cone much better than the big, plastic one she was wearing last week.

I won't let her go out to the barn with me, either. She still runs too much for a puppy with a cast. She expresses her frustration by whining and making funny noises at the back gate when I head out to do the chores.

River expresses how much she loves me!
Every morning she gives me little goat kisses after I finish milking her!

I love autumn. It's my favorite time of year. I love the weather, I love the outside work, I love the smell outside, I love watching the leaves change colors, I love getting ready for winter and Christmas.

I love this poem about autumn.

A Child's Calendar: November
by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Loveliness---

What do you think of John Updike's word choice? Does it help you picture autumn in your mind? Do you like the words that rhyme

We have a few more big projects to work on this weekend. Hopefully we will get everything done before the snow starts falling. Drink in all the sunshine and outside you can this week!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Slow Down, Puppy!

Mishka.

We love her.

She has so much energy!

And she loves to climb and jump!

She's been an energetic, sweet, and fun puppy!

She likes to sit on my sewing counter to see what's going on in the rest of the room.
What projects are you working on?

She climbs up on the table to sneak into the garage window.
If she's sneaky enough, and I don't catch her...
 she eats the cat food sitting on the shelf.

She loves to jump, too!


She's one of our "Three Musketeers!" 

They all work together and play together!
Scout and JJ, the two adult dogs, get along very well with Mishka, the puppy.



She's a sweet puppy, but she is not always careful.

Monday night when the dogs and I went out to the barn to do the chores, Mishka started yelping!

We didn't know what she did, so Tim took her to the veterinarian at Utah Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday.  
Oooops!
All that running and jumping caused 2 fractures in her leg.

One fracture on top of the growth plate on her tibia.

One fracture below the growth plate on her tibia.
Mammals have growth plates. Growth plates are at the end of long bones, like legs and arms. That is the spot where your bones grow longer, which means you can grow taller. If you fracture (break) a growth plate you have to be very careful that it heals correctly or your bones might not be the same length when you are an adult.

Neither fracture is giant. We'll let the vet take another x-ray in a few weeks to see if it's healing properly. If it isn't, then she'll need surgery.

Mishka gets extra calcium every day to help her bone heal properly.

She's also wearing a cast.

She isn't allowed on the stairs inside while she's wearing a cast. She goes up stairs easily, but we don't want her to slip and fall down the stairs until she's healed.

Yesterday she learned to jump with her cast on. I settled her down pretty fast because that could make her injury worse.

It's exciting being a puppy or a child and being alive! Puppies, kid goats, calves, and offspring of most mammals love to play rough and have fun! Playing rough also helps them, and you, grow strong and healthy.

Mishka's cast hasn't slowed her down much.

Tommy has been adventurous this week, too! This is his first time climbing a ladder. He's an adult, so he's a little smarter and a little more careful than Mishka. 

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Our grass still has lots of leaves on it. The dogs love to roll around in them. It's so much fun!





Their fur coats are covered in grass and leaves! 

I haven't had time to groom Scout today. I often brush them when I'm done in the barn in the morning. If I groom them a little bit every day I have a lot less mess in the house.

I hope you run and play and have a lot of fun this week! If you get hurt, I hope you don't let it get you down.




Friday, October 25, 2019

Fall Camping

It can be tricky to leave the farm. Who can we trust to take care of the farm while we're gone? We have remarkable neighbors. The girl who helped take care of the farm while we were gone is only 14. She is responsible and trustworthy. She does exactly what needs to be done while we're gone.

She knows that animals need proper care or they may get sick, or they may die. She has helped me before while I'm home and learned her farm lessons well.

We had fall break last weekend. It was wonderful! We visited Little Grand Canyon and San Rafael Swell. I've never seen petroglyphs before so it was really interesting.

The Little Grand Canyon is still very big!

These photos were taken from right outside our camper.

It was hard to believe that people between 1,000 years ago and 2,000 years ago left pictures on canyon walls. That is so long ago! There are so many stories in the pictures. We don't know the stories they were trying to tell, so we have to figure out what they were thinking. It's not easy.

You can make up your own stories using the petroglyph pictures. That might be fun!

There are so many petroglyphs on this rock that it might be a very long story.
There are so many people in this picture, maybe they are having a feast!

What story would you write about this picture?

I think I would wright a story about a ram and a squirrel for this picture.
What do these pictures remind you of?




We also got to see a dinosaur footprint. It was remarkable!
I should have put someone's foot next to the dinosaur footprint so you could see the size. 

Imagine that! A dinosaur that left a footprint here thousands and thousands of years ago. That footprint was there long before the people painted on canyon walls.



It was really fun to watch Nathan fly his drone. He is so good with it that he can tell it to land and he can snatch it right out of the air!

I love going camping! I love being outdoors and seeing so many beautiful and interesting sights. I have fond memories of camping with my children when they were younger. We used to go to the same places every year.

Now we're making new memories by visiting lots of new places and seeing more wonderful sights.

Sometimes we have trouble before we leave, or while we're camping. Sometimes things break that we don't expect, and sometimes things don't go as planned.

Before we left the cable on the camper that holds up the roof came unhooked.
Thankfully we have an awesome camper repair man that can come out the same day and fix it!

This pole holds up the tent pull-out on our camper.
It wasn't in great shape when I left, but a windstorm the first night made it unusable.

Until Nate cut a piece of wood and taped it inside the curve of the support.
Now it's stronger than when it was new!
I love it when we have challenges and we can work together to figure out a way to get things solved.

Another think I love about camping is that the food is delicious! I love eating outside. I love the smell of fresh air. I love looking at the trees, canyons, mountains, and streams. Where ever we camp, it is beautiful.

Coming home is wonderful, too. Some of our family can sleep anywhere, but some of our family is more comfortable in their own bed at home instead of in a camper.

It's always nice to come home and see our pets and our farm again.


Did you know you can teach some cats to do tricks? Tommy can do a fist-bump for treats!

We love camping and seeing wonderful sights. We love being home, too.

We live a wonderful life

because

we believe we do.


Wonders 2nd Grade Unit 2 Week 2

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Getting Grain

This is a repost from January 2016. We're still getting grain from Leland Mills. If you're new, this is fun to watch!

I thought you might like to see where we get our grain, and a little bit about how we pick it up.

We drive down to Leland Mills in Spanish Fork.
That's not our truck, there are many farmers who buy their grain here.

This is opposite of the store.
These are grain elevators.
This is where all the grain is stored.

Grain Elevator Diagram
This is what a grain elevator looks like on the inside.
Diagram found here

When we get to the mills we need to weigh our empty truck. The scales don't look like your bathroom scales, do they. This scale is very long. The worker reads the scale inside the office and marks it down on a piece of paper.

After they write down the weight of our truck we drive around to the truck that has the chicken feed in it. 
The arm of the truck pours the grain into the barrels while they are in the back of the truck.
It doesn't take long to fill them.

Next we drive around to the scales so they can weigh the truck again. They make a note of how much more the truck weighs so they know how much chicken feed we got.

We need grain for the goats, too.
The barrels have to be unloaded from the truck and taken into the big grain barn.
We can't drive the truck into the big barn, it's not allowed.

The grain barn is huge! There are piles of grain in different areas.
Each area has a different kind of grain.

The grain piles have walls between them so they don't mix too much.

The workers who are inside the barn need to wear a mask because
breathing grain dust is not good for you.



The grain comes out of the shoot so fast that it fills up the big barrel in about 5 seconds.
That is so fast that I almost didn't get a video of it!
I wasn't allowed to get very close because I don't work here.

The barrels with grain for the goats needs to be loaded onto our truck.

Those barrels are heavy!
They weigh the truck again. The new weight tells them how much
grain we got for the goats.

The scale is read in the office while we are in the truck.

The last thing we do is pay for the grain. It's just like paying for groceries.

We drive our truck home full of grain, unload the big barrels with our tractor, and put the barrels in the barn.

We only have to go to Leland Mills every 2 months because those barrels hold quite a bit of grain.

This time we got 5 barrels of grain. We got three barrels of grain for the goats. How many barrels did we get for the chickens?

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Leland Mills!


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Winter Is Coming

It got cold fast this week! There is ice on the water buckets every morning when I go out. I left the water in the hose on just a little bit so that the water wouldn't freeze in the hose last night. If the water in the hose freezes, I can't fill the barrels in the morning.

This weekend we'll put our heated hose in the barn, and we'll put some bucket heaters in the water barrels so they don't freeze solid.

A few hens are still hiding their eggs.
These eggs don't look like they are hidden.....

until you are outside of the hay barn.
Can you see the chickens on top of the hay stack?
Their nest was hidden way in the back of the hay barn, near the ceiling.
It's hard to see the hens on top of the stack because they are in the shadows.

I had to climb all the way up the stack of hay and squeeze myself along the top of the stack until I got to the back of the stack where I found the eggs hidden in the corner by the rafters.

I had to be very careful with the eggs while I was getting down. I didn't want to break any fresh eggs in my coat pocket. Can you imagine the mess? Yuck!

Crazy chickens! I think they were looking for a warm place to lay their eggs.

Look who else likes to get up on the hay in the barn.
What a funny puppy!
She can jump and climb almost as well as the cats! Sometimes she gets up on my sewing table!

The mama hen and her chicks are doing well! She's keeping them warm and safe. These chicks spend a lot more time underneath her than chicks born earlier in the year. She's such a good mother hen!



I bet you can guess what's underneath the hen.
Chicks!
I've never seen a chick hide on the back of a hen,
but this little yellow chick was hiding underneath some of the hens wing feathers.
This is the first time we've had chicks this late in the fall. The chicks seem to follow their mama hen and I think they will adapt to the cold weather with her help. They seem eager to stay close to her, and don't wander very far.

The last few nights the animals have been eating a lot, even before it got cold. I think they could sense winter coming quickly and were eager to get their body ready for it.

It's gotten cold so I opened the stall so Echo would have a dry place to sleep at night.
She's getting ready for winter and getting ready to have her calf so we spoil her by letting her into the stall. She loves it! It's a little more work for me because I have to clean the stall every day. Cows don't know how to use a bathroom, so she goes to the bathroom any place she is standing.

I think this winter will be colder than last winter. That's normal. The climate in the desert is often cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The climate changes from year to year, too. Some years are wetter and colder, some are dryer and not as cold.

When my children were little there were a lot of Halloween's that they wore their winter coats when they went trick or treating. The last few years most children have been fine walking around in their costume. I have a feeling that this year children will be wearing their winter coats! What do you think, will you have to wear a winter coat and dress warmly for Trick or Treating this year?

Look at our Halloween cats!
Tommy is the orange cat.
Liza is the black cat.
They are waiting for their treats. Tommy can do a trick for a treat. He knows how to fist bump.



Wonders Unit 2 Week 1

Thursday, October 3, 2019

New Chicks!

Do you remember when I told you a black hen was made a warm nest and snuggled herself down to try to hatch some eggs?

I would check the nest every day to see how the eggs, and the mother hen were doing.

I checked on Tuesday and some of them hatched!

I love looking at new chicks!
They are so cute!


One chick is still a little bit wet because it just finished hatching!

After the chicks hatched, the mother hen stayed on the nest for 2 more days.
Wednesday morning she was out and about letting her chicks explore the stall.

The chicks were born on October 1st.
I wonder how many are roosters and how many are hens.

We won't be able to tell for a few weeks. I'll watch to see which chicks grow bigger tail feathers, and which ones grow bigger.

I don't have to keep a heat lamp in the barn because the mother hen has lots of fluffy feathers. She knows when to call her chicks to gather underneath her to keep warm. She knows it's her job to keep the chicks warm and safe.

There were six eggs in the nest, but only 3 hatched. That's not unusual. Our hens usually hatch out about half the eggs. Some just don't grow properly inside the egg, so they don't hatch.

Chores on days like this are so much fun!

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It was fun visiting your school on Friday. It was really fun to teach you some fun facts about apples. You learned a lot about the tools I use to make cider. I'll have more photos about cider pressing next week.

While I was walking Mishka I found a rose bush that had rose hips all over it! It looked just like little red apples covering the big, green bush.

The scientific name for roses is
Rosaceae

The scientific name for apples is
Aplicus Rosacea
Almost everything around us has a regular name and a scientific name. The scientific name helps scientists put things in categories, and that helps them learn more about what they are studying.

*     *     *      *     *     *

Echo was born February 10, 2014
Her new calf will be born the same week as Thanksgiving. This will be her fourth calf. How old will she be when she has her calf? Her last calf was born August 13, 2018. How old was she when she had her last calf?

I'm all done milking Echo until after she has her calf this fall. I don't have to spend as much time on chores because milking takes about 45 minutes from setting up the milker, to cleaning up all the equipment.


I don't know what we'll name the calf.
I don't even know if it will be a boy or a girl.
Maybe you can think of some names and send them to me. I would love to have your ideas on a good name for the calf. You can put them in the comments for this post, or you can write them on paper and give them to your teacher. 


Did you know you can choose to think anything you want?