Got Milk?

Josie is doing great!  
Only problem, is she takes her own sweet time going back out to the pasture.
Doesn't she know I've got things to do?
Between Josie and Lilly, we are getting 6.5 to 7 gallons of milk  A DAY!  Two gallons goes to calves.  Pigs, dogs and cats get another 1+ gallon, leaving us with 3 gallons a day.  I'm going to be more generous to the animals this week, and I'll be making twice as much yogurt.    William (the calf) should be weaning soon....which means we will have 4 gallons a day!   

The house fridge is full, the milk room fridge is full, and I've given away 7 gallons this week!  
Four gallons of milk went to the a/c man and his helper.  Yes, on top of everything else, our HVAC died last week.
Our good news for the week, is that we got the pool liner replaced!  I do not know what hoops were jumped through to get it, I am just relieved to have it in, and filling up with water.
If you need some milk---just stop by!

This week has been hard...

actually that is an understatement.  Last Sat. the plumber walked through the screen on our new french door.
On Sunday my new stove was delivered; my 2nd new stove.  Because the first one had a burner that did not work.  On Sunday our pool was installed, on Monday I discovered a leak.
On Tuesday, the new calf was born, and her mama wasn't feeding her.  Which meant we had to begin milking Josie, and we were not prepared.  I am thankful DH was off until Sat, which meant he was able to help "train" Josie.  I also had him to help "fight off" the other cows, who wanted to get through the gate when we were working with Josie.
Tuesday I dealt with pool people, and painted the girls bathroom, but never got to the trim or cabinets.
Supposedly, a rhinoceros beetle was stuck under the liner of the pool, and chewed his way through to escape certain death.  Not so sure I believe it,  but the hole is patched......I have a patch on a brand new pool.  The pool business is contacting the liner manufacturer to see what to do....trying to get a new liner.  Meanwhile, we cannot continue filling the pool, because if we get a new liner, that would mean draining, and re-filling, to the tune of $400 of water. 
Also on Tuesday, DH took AJ to the oral surgeon for a pre-op appointment.  He has to get SEVEN teeth removed, four of which are impacted.  Because of his heart issues and the number of teeth, the surgery will be at Children's Hospital.
Wednesday's garden planting and fence building ended with a bursted water pipe, hit by the auger.
Thursday the clothes rack in the closet fell.
Saturday, was my first day to milk both cows without DH.  Four gallons of milk, at 9 lbs each, plus the milk jug that weighs at least 10 lbs, equals disaster.  When I tried to lift it up and over the sink edge, the locking lid handle came undone because it wasn't being held straight, and all the milk went into the floor.  The cats were in heaven.....I was not.
Saturday I pressure washed the milking parlor floor and pit, Lilly was so impressed that she pooped all over the place at milking time.
Josie jumped the cattle crossing in an effort to get to baby Flossie, who now lives in the barn.  Chaos ensued as we got Josie back into her pasture, and listened to her cry the rest of the day.
The end of a very difficult week ended on a good note.  Jake came home to be in a friend's wedding,  He got to meet and feed Flossie, and help me with the milking this morning.  Kristen will be here later today, so I will have all 8 kids here for Mother's Day.
I'm thankful for that, and that no persons or animals were hurt during this crazy week.  I am hoping that next week goes smoother, and that we get the garden and the girls bathroom finished.

Josie's baby!

Tuesday night, we went out to check on Josie one last time before bed.  I had been on "calf watch" for a few days.  Funny thing, 3/4 of our calves were born on Tuesdays.  When we got out to the pasture, she had just had the calf moments before.
Josie did very well, it was her 1st calf.  We were surprised how tall the calf was, since Jersey's are a smaller breed.  Josie was a good mama all day Wednesday, except for nursing; she kept backing away.

So Wednesday evening, we decided Josie desperately needed relief, and the calf desperately needed to eat.
We got Josie through the milking process fairly easily, considering it was her first time.  

She gave 3 gallons of colostrum!  DH had told Avery that if this calf was a girl, it could be her pet.  Avery was so excited to give her the 1st bottle, and named her Flossie.
On Thursday, Avery spent the better part of the day bonding with "her baby" Flossie.  She sat in the barn and read to Flossie---so sweet.

Lazy days

DH is out of town this week.  I had high hopes of painting 2 bathrooms, and making curtains for them.  But on Monday morning, we made a major decision about our plumbing.  The plumbers are coming on Saturday to re-plumb our entire house.  One bathroom wall has to be cut open....so why paint.  
No, this wasn't planned, and yes, we had a home inspection.
Speaking of which, let me give you a piece of advice.  If you have any type of gas water heater, make sure you have a vent for it going out of your roof.  We had no vent, so we had carbon monoxide going into our attic.  This was discovered by the plumber when we switched from propane to natural gas.
As I said before, yes,  we had a home inspection.  
So instead of getting my new master bath, we have paid for all sorts of plumbing issues. =( 
At least watching goofy pigs can cheer a person up.  
If you take the time to sit back and watch them, they are hilarious.
And for today's farm education, let me tell about the size difference in different breeds of cows.  Pictured are Josie and Ginger.  Ginger is a 8 week old BABY Charolais; a hefty beef cow.  And Josie is a full grown, ready to have a baby any day, Jersey cow.  Adult (girl) Jersey cows weigh about 1,000 lbs., whereas adult (girl) Charolais cows weigh about 2,000 lbs.!!!

One spoiled cow

We love Lilly. 
 Her name evolved to Lilly Mae Hoover.  

Mae--because it fits.  
Hoover--because she gets every crumb of food at milking time, like a vacuum cleaner, 
This is her hot tub.
She's getting the spa treatment.
Her favorite food is banana peels, but we had none on this day.
She gets this kind of attention on a regular basis.
She is a great blessing to our family, so we spoil her just a little.

Ah the cream

Can you see that cream line?  
We're getting a little less milk now, but more cream.
Which makes wonderful butter, and buttermilk for biscuits.
Finally some dry days to play outside.
I couldn't snap the picture fast enough, but this was Emmi being followed through the pasture by many friends.

Yay for my front door!

The old door....that I couldn't see out of, and let in little light.
Since this area was made into a hallway, it really needed more light to come in.  The "new" door was at the back of the house, leading to the garage that we turned into a den.  Ahhhh, more light.
One of the great things about this house, is that there are double windows in every room.  My room has 2 sets.  There are actually several more windows in this house than there were in our previous, much larger house.  There are two sets of french doors, and when the mud room is done, there will be 2 full glass doors.  I love the light coming in!
In true shot-gun style....I can see all the way through the house.   (Above is looking right from the kitchen, below is looking left from the kitchen).

So far this week...

Got organized for planting the garden; although it's been too wet to plant.
Said goodbye to Fred and Arnold, which added $150 to Emmi's savings envelope.  She wants her very own calf.
Came home from errands to find Hammy at the back door.  He escaped twice more that day.
Sweet Waid picked flowers for me.
Waid build a skeleton man out of zoobs.

Kitchen chaos

When the plumber/gas fitter was here running natural gas lines under the house, he happened to look under the sink, and commented on this:
It's some type of old, very thin copper tubing, that had been run as the dishwasher water line; a flood waiting to happen.
SO after being out of the kitchen (and trying to keep the kids out of the house) on the day that the plumber was here, and installing my new gas stove=), among other things......we were kicked out of the kitchen another day.
I had bought a new sink and faucet, so  it was no big deal to fix the dishwasher hose too, right?  Of course the flooring was laid  <after> the dishwasher was installed, making it really difficult to get out.  Then DH (an electrician) discovered the wiring was all wrong, so that had to be repaired.
On a positive note (I think), it appears that the hardwood floor is under the current flooring, and a couple of layers of other stuff.  So that may be great news in the future.  Right now a kitchen reno is nowhere on my radar (financially or otherwise).  I've lived through one total gut job, and it is not something I want to do again.  I'll be perfectly happy just painting cabinets and getting a new counter top somewhere down the road.
At the end of the day, my wonderful new sink was installed.  It's huge!---or rather the old one was very small and basic.  Look at the dirty dishes=).  That is a 9x13, a 6qt pan, and a large skillet on the bottom.  NONE of which would fit in the old sink.  
Great sink equals happy moma!

Friends

William and Moe are friends.

The mini's seem to be afraid of William., Since William and Moe are the new kids on the block, they are often seen together.  There are new goats, but they have their moma.
William's color is changing, he now has more brown.

I can hardly believe Moe was only 5lbs. just about 6 weeks ago.  Now it's getting difficult to pick him up.  
I'll manage though, as long as he will sit in the rocking chair with me.
William is a very sweet boy.  He loves to be rubbed.  He is very gentle,  except when I have a bottle in my hand; then he forgets his manners.
Took about 20 pictures to get these few decent ones =)