Growing cows and its been Monday all week

Our Monday began last Saturday when the plumber never showed up, and never called.  
He is the same guy the re-plumbed the whole house.  He does this as a side job, and was even going to help DH run some wiring in the attic, so my bathroom is at a standstill before it even got started good.

Gus and Jack are doing well, and making friends =)

The bad pic below shows one of them next to Flossie, who is 3 months and 1 week older than the little one.
If you ever want a huge and fast growing cow, get a Charolais!  Below on the right is Ginger, 6 mo old, that's her mom Charmaine on the left.
Ginger is not completely weened, even though she's such a big girl!
Our cow world is great, but the rest of the week has worn me down.  I've had to leave the house 3 days this week (my hermit self does not like to leave more than once a week).  Two of those trips involved boys throwing up in the car.  
**I've made it through 23.5 years of parenting without anyone throwing up in the car---why now??**
A trip two weeks ago also involved throw up.  Why would 2 boys who have flown around the world, and ridden crazy amusement park rides, suddenly start throwing up on car trips?  I don't know who I felt worse for, the throw up kid, or the rest of the passengers that had to endure the rest of the day with unpleasant odors.
This week we've had pigs escape, and goats escape.  Two cows jumped the cattle crossing to get to an old nasty and wet roll of hay, when they had lush green grass all around them----cows are supposed to be smart.
It's just been a hard week, every job has taken longer than intended, goat buyer didn't show up, construction on a nearby hi-way that takes an extra 10 minutes to get through, Avery has a cavity, I forgot to lay meat out for supper, supper dishes still on the counter at 8 pm (2 night), kid has a spill, kid breaks something, and the list goes on.  I know they are all little things I shouldn't sweat, but when things all seam to hit at once, it's just no fun.   Praying we all have a better week soon!

MORE babies

Full blooded Jersey's are hard to come by.   We happened upon these by accident.  
They will enable us to have our own Jersey bull, and not have to rent ZeBull.
Above is Gus, and below is Jack...named after the mice from Cinderella.
They are 10 days old.  This means I'll be bottle feeding through Christmas.
When Jack finished his, he wanted Gus's.  Jack's tongue was licking all over Gus's mouth.
Flossie, the Jersey heifer still has a few more weeks on the bottle, so things will be interesting while we are feeding three bottle babies!  The pigs may have to share some of their 3 gallons a day allotment, we'll see how it goes.

Master bedroom

There is a birdbath just outside the window, I am enjoying the chaise lounge for computer time.  It was previously in the living room at the last 2 houses.
I finished the curtains over the weekend, complete with black out lining for my DH who sometimes works night shift.  We stuck with brown walls, again, for DH when he works night shift.  I like them too, it makes the cream colored bed stand out more.

The decor is basically the same as in the last house.  I looked at new fabrics, but kept coming back to the linen print.  The print at the top of the curtains is the same fabric I made valances out of at the last house.
This is the most windows we've ever had in a bedroom, I love it!
We have the same 60" ceiling fan in the den, we liked the barnwood finish blades that we put the same fan in the bedroom.
Below is a picture with the curtains pulled, notice my pattern lines up--Yay me!!, things don't always turn out so well.
Scroll on down to see how I'm fooling you with my pretty room.........

More master bedroom

Well, at least 3 walls look great!
Here's wall number four, and the closet and bathroom in progress.
All of those walls will be done in ship lap, that I will whitewash.














The right corner above will be the shower area.

                                                                                     Here's the 1st step, cutting a hole, and pouring concrete on a perfectly good hardwood floor, the shower pan was added a few minutes later.
DH has to work all week, so I doubt there will be any more progress until next weekend.  



Bartering again

This cool neighbor is building a half underground house, totally off grid.  His parents already have one.  He has completed the work that he needed the backhoe for, and is going to sell it.  DH asked if he would do a little work here before he sells the backhoe.  

One of our ponds overflows to the lake.  There is a area where an old underground pipe had rusted out.  They crushed the pipe, and have a new pipe to lay in on top of it.
Cool neighbor also was able to straighten up the rough edges of the pond.  

We weren't trying to make the pond larger, just neater.  DH still has to move the extra dirt.

For a couple hours backhoe work, we traded some old hay and rabbit manure to go on neighbor's garden, and will supply his family with a couple of gallons of milk each week for the next few months.

We sold a dozen Black Copper Marans today.  When we brought their "waiting on pick-up" cage out, the kittens were amazed.  They stood on hind legs looking at the birds.  I didn't get a good picture, but it really was a bit of morning entertainment for us.

















When there's a toilet on the porch...

It means that the master bath is finally, FINALLY, underway!!!!!!!!!!!!
The shower unit comes in tomorrow.  Of course completion is still a long ways off, as we are doing all the work ourselves, but I am just so thrilled the time has finally come to get started.
DH is building the open shelf vanity with barnwood, and I am getting a honed marble top!
There's an antique cabinet/hutch  to be refinished, along with wiring, plumbing, and the closet has to be built also.   I am hoping the wall framing begins tomorrow, the walls will be whitewashed plank (shiplap).

In a few days I will show the finished bedroom pictures, but here's something you won't get to see in the "after" pics.  The back of the headboard.  I love the panels across the bottom, sadly, they are never seen...I forgot the back looked so good.
Crazy me just wanted to show you the back of the bed. =)

Random things from this week

Many mornings Lilly gets a Morning Glory crown made for her.  She looks pretty for a moment, then gobbles it up.

Ze Bull left.  And judging from Josie's deep affection for him, breeding efforts were successful.
Lilly was also put with Ze Bull.  An Angus bull will soon be visiting from next door, to mate with Lora, Charmaine, and Lucy.
More hay was cut.  The green tractor operator is the neighbor whose Angus bull will visit us.
We got a much needed air conditioner for the milk/feed storage room.  There are two refrigerators putting off heat in the room, and the windows did not have screens, so couldn't be left open.  We couldn't leave the door open, since all the feed is stored in there.  I was hot when pouring up milk and washing milking equipment.  This room was always at least 10 degrees hotter than outdoors, many days the room was over 100 degrees!

Pears galore!

We are so thankful for our pear tree!!!
Some of the kids got to be lifted up to pick pears for our pear sauce and pear bread.




These are large (shown in 2 c. measuring cup for size).  They are yummy and sweet, not gritty either.

The kids eat them everyday when they go out to play or do chores.  They eat them after lunch.  
Thanks to canning, they'll be eating them with lunches for 21 weeks during the winter months.



I canned 21 quarts.
Bugs and birds get to the fallen pears faster than we can keep them picked up.  The kids pick them up twice a day and feed to all the animals---who also love them.  A few times we have let Moe and Flossie out to get their fill eating under the pear tree.
When anyone is out near the pear tree Toby the mini-donk comes running and Hee-hawing, in hopes that someone will toss him some pears......everyone loves pears!

A birthday and a sour experiment

The sour experiment first, because that's how the pictures loaded.   
The sour cream recipe I have is 8 oz. cream, and 2 oz. sour cream, or buttermilk, or yogurt as the starter.  
In the past I had used (the most delicious) sour cream by Organic Valley as my starter.  But that meant I had to buy it and keep it on hand, which sort of defeats the purpose....
(or always remember to keep 2oz. from each batch, to make the next batch, which is a pain, and must be done each week before it goes bad)
I always have homemade yogurt on hand, but that means using something that took a while to make, in order to produce the sour cream.  We always have buttermilk on hand, as a by-product of making butter.  Since none of us drink buttermilk, it's used in baking and fed to pigs, so it would be the best choice.  But, I wanted to do the taste test with all three starters.
The sour cream with the Organic Valley starter was the best, buttermilk second, and the jar made with yogurt wasn't really good at all.  Since the buttermilk starter is a free by-product of my butter making, that is what I will stick with.  
And if you're wondering how to make your own.....Put the 8 oz. cream and the 2 oz. starter in a jar on the counter for 36 hours.  You're done, that's it!!!  Store in fridge for up to a week.

And the birthday.........this time it was AJ.    He turned 12.
He picked out a Lego set the next day, when we went to Birmingham. 
This ends our streak of 5 birthdays in 5 weeks.  

Barn repair and bedroom "before"

Last Sunday we had a thunderstorm with some strong winds.
Rain was blowing sideways, patio furniture toppling over, etc.
We didn't think much about it until feeding time, when we saw two sheets of barn roof bent over backwards.

Fortunately, we had found a repair guy a few weeks ago for something else.  The fix was easy-peasy......
except for being WAY UP THERE!!!!!!
I'm so thankful we found this repair guy (by way of goat sales), and he will probably be working on my bathroom soon---YAAAAAYYYYYYY!
And I am finally getting the bedroom painted, so I thought I'd show you a before picture.
There is crown moulding with only one coat of paint, all splotchy like.  I AM thankful the crown moulding is already in place though, or I would not be writing this post for another year--DH is not fond of installing crown.
See the paint above?  Not sure what happened there, but it was like that in several places.  Maybe the previous owners painted during a power outage and could not see--who knows.  The paint is a light shade of mauve.  The mauve curtains were discarded long ago.  The mauve honeycomb shades remained, until I took them down today.  We had black fabric over this window, because with mauve shades, the sunshine made the room glow---you guessed it---MAUVE.  
I got the ceiling painted today, and the 1st coat on the trim.  I hope to finish the painting on Tuesday, and start sewing the curtains.

Very excited boy

DH's new tractor arrived one day last week.
Waid was one very happy boy!!!!
He inspected every single inch of it before DH got home.
Waid can barely read, but he can tell you all about tractors!
Of course he got a ride as soon as DH got home.
The next day, DH got right to work with it.  We are so thankful to have the equipment needed to run the farm, and so very thankful for LOTS of hay!