Fishin’ and Carrie Clothes

Today I slept in … Only to find out that Dad now agrees with me it takes long to do chores then he thought … Funny how I have been telling him that and he never believe me. Then he also found out that taking care of the weaker ones every 2 hours keeps you from getting much done. I tried to warn him that his calves take up most of mine and Mom’s time but he said we just fussed to much. Then the rain came and well, He now knows that we were telling the truth. He isn’t happy about it but I am kind of glad that he had to work as hard as Mom and I do everyday.

While Dad learned a hard but much needed lesson on caring for his own calves, Mom and I set out to get a few thing done since we would have more time today then any other … First, we cleaned out Mom’s boat. Dad and I have taken to putting things in it that we shouldn’t so Mom wanted it cleaned out. She says she is going to tarp it so that we can’t put our “junk” in it. To be honest, if I could find one of those rebuilding shows that do boats I would submit Mom’s Boat. She is very protective of it but she doesn’t know how to get it running again.

It was her Grandfather’s Boat and it saw many a day on the lake water skiing. It even has an original Evinrude motor. And the Boat it’s self was made right here in Oklahoma … In the 50’s!! To be honest I do think it would be just to cool to get it running again.

Anyway, After we cleaned it out I took time to move the hay pile from the East pen. Tomorrow I plan on working all the sheep and penning the babies. Yes, it is weaning time folks. And I have news for Van the Goat … He is going in that pen too. Mom is so tires of him getting under her feet. Also I took time to catch the little ducks again. They keep getting out on the road and Mom and I are forever going to get them. I am afraid they might get hit by a car like Donald did.

After that Mom went in to make lunch. I took the time to fix the orchard fence that the county tore up. It really isn’t a fence we use to keep anything in or out with but Mom did want it put back up so that no one would stop on the road and harvest her fruits from the fruit trees without asking. After Lunch … I went fishing. Dad tried to go with me and then found out that you really can’t get much done in two hours before he had to get back to his calves … LOL … Man it was a hard lesson for Dad to learn. By the end of the day he was so mad that he hadn’t gotten much done but Mom and I were giggling…

This evening after I got back from fishing the pond … Where I caught a very nice beauty … That I can’t get the picture to upload of … Figures huh?? Nope not a fishy story … LOL and after I fit in a bit of Roping … I got my Carrie Clothes and Mohair blend roving Shares all done and they will be sent out Monday!!

I finally got it to upload … LOL
036

I ended my day with another beautiful Rainbow. I don’t think I have seen so many rainbows as I have lately … We must be doing something right! Check it out …

037

Double …

Today Mom and I worked as normal. There are alot of little things Mom wants to get done before the open house. In the middle of trying to get things done one of the clouds in the sky decided to drop quite a bit of Liquid Blessings on us. Mom and I scrabbled to get everything under sheds … Only to have the rain stop just minutes BEFORE we could get ourselves back to the house. Needless to say we were very wet … LOL

When we got in and cleaned up and dried off it was time to run to town for my 4-H picnic and County Elections. I had a great time but my interview didn’t start off very well. The ladies conducting the interview ask me to start off by resighting the Pledge of Allegiance. On any other given day I can say the Pledge of Allegiance a thousand times over flawlessly. It is something Mom takes very seriously due to her military upbringing. But today for the life of me I froze up. I got out the first line “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America” Then I couldn’t think what line came next. I said all the lines but I didn’t get them in order … I am not sure why I couldn’t remember it but I just couldn’t. After that the interview went fine.

I guess in my mind I had already blown it so it didn’t really matter. I ended up sailing through and scoring 8 out of 10 points to boot … How did that happen? I figured that if I blew the Pledge of Allegiance that would take more points off but I did ace the 4-H salute … Something that was less important then the Pledge of Allegiance! Figures … Just my luck to mess up the most important part …

Anyway, After the interview, I had my speech to make. Well, I did okay And for whatever reason I Won … I am now the County 4-H President as well. So I am a double President … LOL And for the record …


“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The same old thing

Today was more of the same old thing. I have to tell you, somedays there just isn’t much to report on the farm. We clean and clean and clean. From the house to the stall we clean it all… oh look there … That rhymed … LOL

The truth is that farm life isn’t all glamorous and fun. Some days are just days to get things done. There are troths to clean, Stalls to clean, Compost to spread, weeds to spray, fence to fix and much, much more. The problem is that while I worked all day … There isn’t anything fun to really report. It is Wednesday and like every other Wednesday, we check on Granny, Mow the yard and clean stalls and troths. Yup, we have a schedule and some days nothing exciting happens and it is just chores … I know it is kind of boring on days like this but Mom and I plan to record some more of the stories about when we first moved here but we just haven’t had time. So for now I guess boring will have to do …

Whole lot of Nothing

Today I can’t really say we got anything done. Mom and I ran to town for some sour bolus for a few of the calves. I guess the rain is kind of getting to them. Mom spent part of her day cleaning up the house while I ran out every few hours to give IV treatments to the dehydrated calves.

Honestly the only other thing I got done was when Dad got home we “cut” one of the older calves. By Cut yes, I mean castrate. LOL Other then that Mom could be found in the flower garden clearing and reclaiming it. Check out some of the flowers she has found so far…

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
This climbing rose needs a trellis … Mom is working on it.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Day lillies

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Lemon Balm … Mom uses it for her Tea!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
My Rock Garden

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
This one is set up to be a barrel pouring out flowers but nothing is planted yet …. Any ideas what kind of flower would look cool pouring out into the pot at the bottom??

And This is Mom’s favorite …

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Her favorite thing about it, is that fact that she has planted it in a way that she can make it look as though the plant is not planted in the ground.

Memorial Day Fun!!

So today we got a late start. Yes, we all went to bed early but for some reason it just seemed to make it harder to get up this morning. Who knows, It might have been the rain too. Today remained over cast so Mom and I decided to work on the Open house. Well, okay so we decided to have fun making up the kids activities.

First up, the Nature scavenger hunt was easy. We made the following list with lines so a parent can help them fill it out.

  • Something Fuzzy
  • Something Hard
  • Something Soft
  • Something Green
  • Something that makes noise
  • Something Old
  • Something Young
  • Something Wet
  • Two Different kind of birds
  • Then we listed the following so they can just circle yes or no if they find them.

  • A Rock
  • A leaf
  • A stick
  • A Feather
  • Then Mom dug out these little pencils that we had bought for 4-H to put in a cup so that everyone can just take one if they need it and return it as they get done.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Next up … PVC Pipe Rocket Launchers. Okay, at first we were just going to dig out the launchers and make sure we still had everything we needed to do the activity but well, we kind of really got into it. Our Launchers are very simple. Remember we like to make things from left overs from other projects and these launchers are no different. We used PVC pipe, an angle, a scrap of wood, and some plumbers strapping. It was really easy to make but we did make ours when I was younger. We used to use it at our 4th of July Celebrations. I am getting off course though. We have the Pvc Pipe straped to the wood with the strapping.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    We have the angle to make the “T” of the launchers.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    We then Duck Taped a 2 liter pop bottle on the end of the pipe.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Put together it looks like this … Not much to look at but man, after today I now remember the fun we had with it … Yes at 16 it is still fun.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    I find the real challenge is in making the rockets. This is the part that can get tricky. If you use to much tape it will weight the rocket down and it won’t get much air under it but if you don’t get it sealed up pretty good the air will just blow through it and it won’t launch … There is a science to it you know…

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Mom didn’t take it serious at all … She just wanted to make sure the rockets we were putting out would work even if the kids made them wrong.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Then she wanted to make sure we made them PRETTY for the blog and to post on Facebook … Really?? She is nuts …

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Okay so I played along and colored some too … LOL

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Then came the real fun … The Test launch!! Check this out. The only thing is that it was hard to get pictures of the rocket as they really did fly off that launcher. If you look in the very top of the picture you can see one of the rockets. The other photos Mom took didn’t even catch the rocket in the frame … LOL … Man can those babies fly … You gotta try this … And I am not meaning just kids out there in Blog land … Adults will find it fun too.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    And just a side note … The easiest way to reinflate the 2 liter bottle is the just blow in the other end of the launcher.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    There was one other thing that was just to cool not to share … There was a double rainbow over the house this evening at chore time … Check this out … It was hard to get great photos but you get the point … Mom says it is God Promise to us and she said it is his way of letting us know we are doing something right … and yes it is a double but you can’t really tell in the photos

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Weekend News …

    Today started out a bit rough. I know it is only after Noon and I am already blogging but … I may not get it posted right away as it might take me all day to write it at this rate. I am learning that two late nights in a row isn’t what it is cracked up to be. My Mom used to not let me do two late nights back to back but now that I am older she lets me choose. Okay, bad choice. I am so drained, tired and just plain Blah! Will I do it again?? Problably. Hey, I am a teenager … Give me time to forget today and I will think it will be okay to do again! Sorry just trying to be honest here. LOL

    Anyway, I will back up and bring you up to date and then tell you why I am now very excited. So Friday, was the day after our inspection. We took time to slow down a bit. Mom and I did a bunch of computer work. We even started on our Open House that will take place the weekend of Jun 14-15 2014. We are going to keep it simple serving snacks and drinks only and have a few activities for kids. The only booths we will have will be the farmer’s Market. We invited them to set up if they want to. If not then only my booth will be here. Another big thing is that we got the program installed and our very first Newsletter emailed out. It wasn’t huge but it was a start. (Mom says if you want to be on our mailing list just drop me an email at rj@barnontheweb.com saying so and we will be happy to add you.) While Mom worked on that I worked to get my stuff done for 4-H. For county elections I have to have my Citizenship, Leadership, Points and 2 page story done to run for President. I am proud to say … I got them done.

    Friday night I went to a rodeo. I didn’t do to good because my horse Shorted me. That means that she started to stop before I was ready. It is one of those times when the Horse thought I should have been in the right spot to rope but I didn’t. Truth be told we will never know which one of us was right. I can hear ya’ll now about how horses don’t think and how they aren’t smart enough to know that kind of stuff but I am here to tell you. My horse knows her job and she knows when I am in place. If I misjudge or she misjudges either way, it doesn’t happen very often!!

    I didn’t get in until after 2am Saturday Morning but I had promised my Uncle that I would go help him work his cattle. He picked me up at 7am. So I had to get up before 6am. That made me not have but about 4 hours of sleep. We worked about 200 head after gathering them from a rough terrian of about 2 square miles. It wasn’t just me helping. There was about a dozen of us and we got done about 3pm so by the time I got home it was time to hit the road to go to the rodeo again. Mom asked me several times if I was sure I wanted to go. I thought that I would be fine.

    I did okay but I didn’t do well enough to win. Again I didn’t get home until after 2am. This morning I was up at 7am just to get chores done. See a pattern?? Just a bit later and later each day. Tonight I plan on going to bed early. But in the mean time I have been laying around the house. Finally, Mom told me I needed to get my box out of the front room. You see the mill is really backed up so to help us out they are processing it one box at a time and then sending each box as it is done. Well, you guessed it … I had gotten a box from the Mill.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Inside the Box I found three colored Shetland fleeces that we had turned into roving. Remember that this is all from the Spring of 2013 shearing. We also have our Fall shearing still at the mill. Anyway, there were two other things in the box as well. First, there was Carrie’s first Sock yarn … If you remember we only sold two shares the first time and it was a “sheep to socks” project. It comes with some little extras but then when we got Reba we added getting a pattern and a bunch of extras with it. So you guessed it, our two lucky shareholders will soon be getting their packages in the mail from that share.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    The one thing I am super proud of is the Roving we finally got right … Practice makes perfect they say and this is one of those things. When I got my first goats I had no idea what we were going to do with the fleece. We got our yarn right in the second try which is the 2 ply fingering weight 70/30 mohair/wool yarn we sell in our shop. However, we wanted some great roving out of our Mohair as well. The first sheep that I got were the Southdowns so I used them to blend the mohair with. However, it didn’t spin to our liking.

    We so love for roving to Spin like butter … or as I love to hear Katie O say … BUTTAH!! (I have no idea why but I love the way she says that with her northern accent) As luck would have it we tried different blends of the southdown and mohair but it just never worked to our liking. Then “Katie O, Spaghetti O” Helped us get some feed back and we learned a bit more about what other blends people like. We then moved away from using the southdown wool and moved tword the Shetlands that we have.

    I am very proud to say that when I got to feel it from the box this morning I was soaring. WE GOT IT RIGHT!!! Our roving is now so soft and spins like a dream … BUTTAH!! I know you are tired of hearing that … It sounds like Katie-O in my head … Okay, I will stop now. Check this out …

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    Mom couldn’t help it so she took a bit and spun it up. To bad she had to use my really light John Deer Drop Spindle. I can only imagine what she would get out of it if she had her good one empty.

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    It is so wonderful …

    GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

    And just so you know not all the shares of our new roving sold so … We will have some to sell very soon!

    Cup is overflowing…

    Oh what a glorious day!!! There is nothing better then having all your hard work pay off. And today was one of those days. I have to tell you, we didn’t get alot done but we got a couple of big things done. We started by giving our Agent a tour so that she could get a feel for the place. All the animals made her “feel” right at home. We are super excited as our Agent raised Goats as a child and she loved our little devils … LOL

    We learned alot from what not to do as well as what to do. She was very nice telling us Stories about different visits she had made. Including the one that made the whole appearence thing a big deal. She explained that once on a farm there was an aweful tornado. The farm was a part of the program but instead of cleaning up the old barn the Tornado twisted and crushed, the owner put up a sign announcing “F4 Tornado of 2000 something”.

    I thought that was funny but Mom and our Agent didn’t. First, she thought it was weird that she had to tell them to clean it up. Then she said she had to explain to that owner that it was an insurance issue and that when a farm is in the program they are what people think of Oklahoma as we will be on http://www.travelok.com. Kind of the face of Oklahoma Agritourism.

    After much talk and discussion about our farm and our future goals, our history and just about everything else you can think of, We got two copies of a very special Sign. Check this out…

    007

    We still have some more paperwork, a few more signs to order and little bits of this and that to do but we passed into the program. With our approval we will be put on the Agritourism map and in the Land bounty Guide next time they are printed. Not to mention having rack cards in all the Welcoming Centers across the state. Yup it is kind of a big thing and we consider ourselves very blessed considering everything that stood in our way to get here.

    Something else happened today too. We also got put on the TAT MAP!! For those that don’t know what the TAT map is, it is the Trans-American Trail for dirt bikers. You can check it out at their site HERE We will be on the map as a camping stop, watering hole and picnic area.

    I know alot of you support us and now it is time to ask you a favor. If you are on Facebook please, Please like our farm page “The Straw Family Farm” and Share it too. The one thing that both places want to see is our name out there. And they both agree Facebook is the Quickest way. They want to see a big number of likes if you get my drift … LOL … In the mean time we will be getting signs ordered and more advertising in place.

    As for Now, We are offically open to the public as an Agritourism Farm … And we are planning an open house!!

    Getting even better

    Today started out a bit rough as another calf went down … this time Dad wasn’t home and I got out of Mom’s way. Within an hour Mom had him back up and after that we called the Vet and we had a new medication for them. It is crazy to see Mom work a calf like that. I am learning that Mom really does know a little bit about what we need to do and that Dad just makes it up as he goes. The important part is that he is up and doing well now.

    While Mom was working the calf I looked out and found that even though I had yet to let the Chickens out …. Ms. Henny as we have taken to calling her came out of hiding and was looking for Breakfast. Sneaky little rat. When she headed back to her hiding place, Mom had the calf under control so I followed. I found her spot in the baler and I have to say that I looked right at her last night several times and never saw her. We are going to let her hatch out her babies and see what we get. Ms. Henny is a Bantam Columbian Wyndott and all our Roosters are Black Australorps. As long as they don’t come out two headed I am cool with whatever I get.

    Anyway, after that we gave shots with the new medication to all the calves. That meant working all 28 head we have and since we had fence line to work too just to get caught up, Well, we were a bit behind but nothing we couldn’t manage.

    It was Wednesday so it is Mom’s mowing day and Granny day. Well, we ended up not going to see Granny but we called her. She is doing fine so we will see her next week. That gave us the time to get everything done around here. You know it wouldn’t really be to much if this was a normal farm. Oh but you know we aren’t normal.

    Anyway, We got alot of little things done that Mom was going to let be the first time the inspector was suppose to come. And we got all the other things done as well. Okay, Except the laundry didn’t get done but the inspector could care less if it is done or not. It is Mom who is threatening to have only her birthday suit on in the meeting … LOL … Wonder if that would count against us? Really, Laundry isn’t done but it is being done so it will get there.

    Oh I almost forgot. The big Tom Turkey had to go. He is going to be a feast for a little girl’s 6th birthday party. He was getting way to mean to stay here. In return for us letting them have the Tom for the party the Man is going to help me get my incubator back up and running. That means I will be hatching eggs like crazy!! Ducks, Turkeys and Chickens … I love my Birds!

    Looking up

    So after yesterday’s fiasco Today was a breeze. Not because of any one thing. Today just seemed to be better. We worked all morning with some Friends that came over to help clean up. At one point a kid that I hardly even know was driving down our road and just stopped to help us out. We had to really pack the brush on the trailer to even make it fit in one load. Even then we had the back of one truck full and our flat bed loaded down …

    004

    I bet we hadn’t gone 50 foot before I had to make the first smash down dance happen … After that it took more then one of us to get it smashed down

    005

    When we were done our trailer looked like this…

    006

    Yes even on that full trailer we found a way to sqeeze in one last tree … LOL

    007

    When we got done we took time to learn more about our helpers. We chatted the time away and ended up going to eat burgers. Feeding them seemed the least we could do for all their help. When we got done eating we came home and they got a tour of the farm and all the animals got fed and loved on.

    By the time we were done the better part of the day was gone and it was time for my County 4-H meeting. I went and gave my report but not before Mom went and got feed. When we got home Dad had done chores … All but put up the birds so I did that but I have found that my little white hen is missing. I think she may have a nest somewhere as we haven’t seen her eggs in days and I know she was here this afternoon as we were playing with her and showing her off.

    I bet tomorrow she shows up in time for breakfast.