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Boots&Flipflops Posted - May 01 2020 : 1:34:31 PM
Happy May Day All,

Where did the first 1/3 of the year go?

We are cooped up as everyone is, but all are healthy and hope everyone else is doing well.

It has been darn near a year and a half since I posted. Lots of things have happened.

When I quit posting my Mother had blown her back out again. 20 some years back she blew out a vertebrae in her mid back. This time it was 3 that fractured. For 2 months I was up at her house everyday. She had the procedure done where they inject bone cement to stabilize them and thank goodness it worked.

For the great news.....we are on the short list as Californian's!!!! I spent months looking for greener pastures and found them in Washington state.
I had been looking at this one place for the longest time, so last June we rented a motorhome, packed up all 3 adult children and went to see the ranch. Looked at a few others along the way, but this was the one. We closed in July and will be moving up there next year.

It is North Central Washington in a town called Tonasket. Population 1036
We are 20 minutes from Canada, 3 hours from Spokane and 4 hours from Seattle. It is a beautiful 44 acre ranch on the Okanogan River and in an agriculture valley with mountains all around.

As for cows, I bought a beautiful Jersey from the heifer sale that takes place at the junior college every other year. She has a special place in my heart, as she was halter trained and etc. by my son's dearest friend that I talked into taking dairy science classes with me. Peaches is what Faith named her when she was a calf at the college so that is what it will stay. Most all of the heifers at the sale were bred, and Peaches was the last to take, so she is due around the 15th of this month. Crossing fingers and toes for a heifer calf, but as long as it is healthy and all goes well that is what matters most.

Lacy is a pasture cow as of now. I had to dry her off before we went to Washington. As for Spud, well.....he went to Freezer Camp.

As for family, Tom is working remotely, Becky just finished 3rd year at Junior college, Austin is working as a mechanic on farm equipment and Rachelle is living on her own and thankfully has a secure job.

I have so much enjoyed peaking in at what has been going on and seeing all the beautiful pictures. Hope to stay caught up.

Blessings to all for a Wonderful Day

20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
maryjane Posted - May 30 2020 : 1:53:13 PM
How cool is that?! A Samson girl, and such a beauty! Makes me happy to know you're pleased, Caren. She IS a stunner.
NellieBelle Posted - May 28 2020 : 09:07:51 AM
Good morning Caren! Clove is drop dead gorgeous! So nice to see everyone's cows. Clove sounds and looks perfect. So glad you shared her photo! Best to you also! Just lovely.
Caren Posted - May 28 2020 : 06:56:15 AM


You ladies have been busy growing beautiful vegetables, flowers, and cows. This morning Clove looked so beautiful I took her picture to share with you since she is Samson's progeny. Clove is now 2 1/2 years old and has her first calf born a few weeks ago. So far, she measures 46 inches at the withers, has a perfect udder, and stays in great body condition. We also think she is drop dead gorgeous, but of course we are partial. Hope all is you are doing well and drinking lots of milk!

NellieBelle Posted - May 24 2020 : 09:08:03 AM
Good morning MaryJane and everyone! We are getting thunderstorms, more rain, not much but enough to help the gardens. I'm glad you enjoyed Dancing with Bees. Bees, cows, gardens, what's not to love. Such a lovely time of year, and busy. Don't have to ever worry about nothing to do. I will be drying Darla off next week. So we will be down to milking just Nellie. Still plenty of milk to take care of everyone. And Darla will be back in milk when I dry up Nellie. (If all goes according to Hoyle). So just enjoying life, chores, and milking. Hope all is well and everyone has a wonderful week.
maryjane Posted - May 24 2020 : 06:27:09 AM
Goldenrod is another golden pollinator plant. According to my wish list, I have 40 years of pollinator habitat to plant, protect, foster. In the meantime, it's Dancing with Bees for me! Great read, Janet. Oh my, I do love observing and helping our pollinators.
NellieBelle Posted - May 21 2020 : 3:24:21 PM
Rosetta is growing and looking positively darling. Love the white tail and markings. I keep hoping one of my gals will have a two tone but Estella is the only one with a hint of white. I ordered more chicks, fryers, and broilers. I'm getting low. You've been busy with all that planting MaryJane, but the reward of seeing them bloom in the prairie will be well worth the work. And Asters are so pretty in the fall, and the bees will thank you. Mine do, asters and goldenrod.
maryjane Posted - May 21 2020 : 05:57:51 AM
Here's an updated photo of Rosetta to add to the mix of lovely new HJO babies.

Why is it that when I kick the girls out of their bedroom so I can get things mucked, the chickens move in almost immediately?

Then, when I show up they run like the dickens. Chickens? I think they would claim it for their own if I let them.

Janet, I've been planting 150 Showy Milkweed plants (Monarch habitat) and 50 Western Asters (awesome pollinator plant that I love because they're a late bloomer, July/August). Beautiful little blue daisies w/yellow centers.

Out hoophouse greens are amazing right now. I love how delicate and melt-in-your-mouth Buttercrunch lettuce is.

Happy milking everyone.
maryjane Posted - May 21 2020 : 05:42:20 AM
Congratulations Charlene! Another Buttercup (and a gorgeous one at that). It's an endearing name; I can see why Cecily likes it. We've change Odetta's name to Rosetta, to stick with a flower theme for Miss Daisy's granddaughter.
Boots&Flipflops Posted - May 19 2020 : 10:37:56 PM
Congratulations Charlene,

What a precious little heifer. She is just as cute as can be. Blessings be had that all went well and BlueBelle handled it on her own. It is wonderful to hear that she is a calm gal during milking. What a joy and wonderful addition to your farm.

Peaches is holding out for the duration, and longer. Last night I set my alarm for every hour straight up. Peaked into the barn cameras and nothing but her sleeping and lost sleep for me. She will have it when she's darn good and ready I guess. Just jittery with 1st time heifers.

Sweet Dreams All
NellieBelle Posted - May 19 2020 : 6:29:22 PM
That's what we like to hear and see. Such a sweet picture of momma and little heifer. Love the coloring. So happy all is going smoothly.
CloversMum Posted - May 19 2020 : 6:09:51 PM
Thank you, Janet! I’m so thankful for little Buttercup. And BlueBelle is doing so well with milking! She stood perfectly still today while I milked out a gallon of colostrum. Little Buttercup already had a full tummy so she’s got the nursing routine down pat.

NellieBelle Posted - May 19 2020 : 11:31:04 AM
Oh how adorable Charlene! Congratulations on the newest addition to your herd. She is so pretty, just like her momma. Glad everything went well. Enjoy!
CloversMum Posted - May 19 2020 : 09:27:46 AM

BlueBelle has her calf yesterday morning! All by herself ... well, O’Malley was nearby! I found them just after she had delivered. All was well, and we moved them up to the barn so I could milk out BlueBelle and make sure the calf got a tummy full of colostrum. I also gave BlueBelle some CMPK as a precaution. She is doing great!

And.... She’s a HEIFER!!!! We named her Buttercup. We wanted a field flower name to go with BlueBelle. (I know MaryJane has a beautiful cow named the same, but when our special needs daughter says that’s a cute name, we go for it!)
NellieBelle Posted - May 16 2020 : 07:44:11 AM
Good morning Everyone!! So much happening on here that it's hard to know where to begin. But I mostly want to congratulate! Here at home, lots going on with gardens, cows, new chicks, construction work etc. Congratulations on your future move Darla! How exciting and rewarding. Anxious to hear and see more once you get there. And Charlene on your soon to be calf from BlueBelle. MaryJane's new calf. So good to see wonderful and pleasant things going on. Not much has changed here. Life as usual. Beautiful time of year!
CloversMum Posted - May 15 2020 : 10:48:34 AM
And sleeping under the stars and full moon sounds just about perfect ... maybe just two sleeping bags next time, MaryJane?

Darla, your move up north sounds wonderful!
CloversMum Posted - May 15 2020 : 10:45:54 AM
Happy Friday all,

Thank you for your compliment, MaryJane. Coming from you means a lot to me! :) I keep playing around with my camera and my uncle, who is a professional photographer, has critqued my work. And, let's face it, you are correct when you say we live in a beautiful place. I'm grateful for it and strive to see the beauty and the stories of the farm each and every day. Some photos that I'm too slow to snap are ones that I call my "heart photos". Every one should have lots of those!

BlueBelle is still pregnant! I realized that I looked at a different cow gestation calendar than you have in your book, Milk Cow Kitchen. I went back to your book and according to the gestation calendar that is in there, BlueBelle is due 5/17/20. Still any day probably but who knows with a heifer. BlueBelle was Ai'd August 8th so I do have a definite breeding date.

I decided to let her back out on our pasture to enjoy all the beautiful fresh grass that has sprung with our spring rains. She is looking good, udder is full, teats are full as well. So perhaps this weekend? Her new official due date is Sunday.

If she has a bull calf, we will steer him and he will be named "Salt Lick" after a Texas bbq place that my husband LOVES. All of our steer have been named to remind us of their purpose ... Humble (after a local hamburger join "Humble Burger", Baby Ray (after Sweet Baby Ray bbq sauce), etc)

We are still throwing around names for a heifer calf ... I've had so many boys born here this year that I'm thinking its about time for a heifer calf! We would want to keep her and would like a name to go along with her mama, BlueBelle. Open to ideas? Some names we are tossing around are Buttercup or MayBelle ...

This is a full portrait of sweet BlueBelle:

Boots&Flipflops Posted - May 14 2020 : 1:44:32 PM
Good Day All,

I have to agree with you MaryJane, Charlene takes wonderful pictures, but I see a lot of beautiful pictures from you and Janet as well! They are pictures that sooth the soul with their beauty.

Love the thought of sleeping outside with a nice little fire. That will have to wait until we move up north. If I did that here it would be about a $2,000.00 dollar fine.

I did as Charlene and moved Peaches into the barn night before last thinking maybe Tuesday night was the night. Nope.....all she did was poop up the place and give me a big chore for the morning. So last night I left it open so she could come and go as she pleased. Thankfully she took care of business outside of the barn. Her udder is filling in nicely and her bum says she is ready, but I am watching a boiling pot of water I

As Charlene stated, I am so thankful to be out in the country on our little farm and that Tom has a job that has kept him employed. He has decided he kinda likes working remotely and being able to be home. Looks like it may be the case for some time yet, so all is good there. Can't imagine going through this "stay at home" order living in an apartment or the likes. My heart goes out to those folks.

Hope everyone has a Wonderful and Blessed Day!
maryjane Posted - May 14 2020 : 11:15:27 AM
Has BlueBelle delivered yet??? It was good to hear from you and get an all things Charlene update.

Your full moon picture is picture perfect. What a capture! You're getting durn good with that camera of yours. Of course, it helps that you live in such a stunning setting.

I spent the night under the full moon on a chaise lounge in a sleeping bag in my garden. It was lovely but a bit chilly so I had a campfire going.

Our newest, little Odetta Etta, is doing great--super adorable and full of life. Both her mother and grandmother (Miss Daisy) lick her constantly. Poor thing. Her life seems all about those tongues for now.
CloversMum Posted - May 09 2020 : 06:06:17 AM
Good morning,

It’s been a great while and like the rest of you, our family’s world has been turned inside out for a bit. But, oh, I am grateful for our farm these days!

BlueBelle is due any day now with her first calf.

Yesterday our two steers were talking loudly amongst themselves ... very unusual for them. So I wondered if they knew something was imminent. BlueBelle looks more sunken around her tail and hips and her udder has greatly filled in over the last two days. We shut her up in the barn last night just to be safe. No calf yet ...

In the meantime, we had nearly twenty goat kids this spring. Have all but a couple sold with two more goats due to kid in the next few weeks. I’m milking nearly 8 gallons a day of goat milk and will soon add in milking BlueBelle!

Family is doing well. All are healthy. Fortunately my husband is considered essential and continued working. Our farm business and B&B has taken a hit but more people want to connect directly with the farmer so I think we will be fine. Still have wonderful goat milk/goat cheese/egg customers so I’m thankful.

This was our full moon a few early mornings ago:

Happy Saturday to you all!
maryjane Posted - May 02 2020 : 07:04:27 AM
Good morning Darla. Next year can't come soon enough for your move to Tonasket! That's the best news I've heard in a while. So happy for you. The location is fantastic for all things homestead. Are you in the process now of selling your place in California?

I've thought of you and Lacy Lou often lately because Miss Daisy's daughter, Buttercup, gave birth recently. Her father is Ian--Lacy Lou's father. Anyway, Miss Daisy has small, slender teats. Fortunately, Buttercup inherited the teat genetics from her father's side. Buttercup's teats are all uniform and the perfect size, just like Lacy Lou's. Super happy about that.

Sure was nice to hear from you. Don't be a stranger.