August 12, 2011

Hail, Home, and Barn Chores

Warning: Sharp Turns Ahead! If we were on the road, that's the road sign I'd put up for a drive along this post. There will be several rather abrupt subject changes. Hope you don't mind. There was just no way to transition smoothly!

Another delay to haying. Wednesday we had a small rain shower, so yesterday things were too damp to hay. The guys worked in the yard instead, leveling some spots, backfilling around the house from when it was built, and planning a big day of haying for Friday. And then yesterday evening...

...another storm came in that didn't look too terrible from a distance, and then it got here. And after swooping in with some roaring wind and rain, it hailed for at least 30 minutes, everything from tiny pea size up to the size of a quarter. By the time it was done the yard was white and the trees were looking kind of pittiful. Fortunatly the wind wasn't blowing while it hailed so it fell straight and didn't smash any windows or do any damage aside from beating our flowers to the ground.
After the storm, the sunset light put on quite a show...

So today is another day of no haying. Hopefully the work can resume tomorrow. Malcolm thinks he can finish cutting in a day and bring the swather back home to do a second cutting here. Luckily, we were on the northern edge of the hail so the hayfields here are fine, and it only rained on the ones they are working in now.

First Sharp Turn:
Ok, Meagan, you asked for it! A few pictures of our new home. Keep in mind that settling in is still in the works:
This is my kitchen:
Meagan, did you notice I have Lily's flower she sent me, still on the fridge?
That desk area over there on the left is one of my favorite features of the kitchen. The upper cabinets were the perfect spot for my chickens and cookbooks.
And I like the kitchen sink in the corner like it is. Its nice to stand there and look out the window in either direction. I also love the space behind the sink. Its just the right size for my plants. (please over look my struggling Christmas Cacuts. Its recovering from being neglected in Billings and also the girls were making a snack of its new leaves every time we came home. But its safe and warm and happy now with lots of new growth!)
On to the other parts of the house, from the kitchen you pass through the living room (which is not decorated yet and only partially moved into) and then there are three bedrooms and two baths. Our master bedroom...
and master bath...
still working on getting some towel racks. Just can't find one that I like.
And the last room I'll let you take a peak in is my future library/craft room. It's partially unpacked, but also partially a storage room. And its also the girls room. Their kennel is in there taking up the space by the door.
There you go! A brief and abbreviated tour! Now come see if for yourself sister! When's your flight get in?

The Second Sharp Turn:
Last week my mother-in-law and I drove to Dickinson to meet my sister-in-law to shop for a wedding dress. She found the perfect one, though I don't know how she picked. She looked amazing in all of them. This was especially special to me because I missed shopping for a wedding dress last summer with my sister and my other sister-in-law. So I was so thrilled that I was home to go with Justine!
this is not THE dress, just so you know!

Taking another turn:
The other evening it was so nice and so beautiful...
...that I just couldn't stay inside. And since it wasn't time to do my barn chores yet, I decided to take the four wheeler and go explore some and enjoy the evening. And when she looked at me with those big adoring doggy eyes, I just couldn't leave her behind. So Lucy came with me, riding on the back of the four wheeler, one of her favorite things to do!
It made her very happy and she showed her appreciation at every opportunity. She's one of those dogs you just can't help but love because she loves life so much, and every thing, and every one, and every...
We cruised around, taking in the sights, the sun, and the delicious smells of fresh hay, earth, and...skunk. Don't know where he was exactly but we didn't stick around to find out, because personally I didn't want to see it and more so because I didn't know if I could keep Lucy away from it if she happened to find it. So on we went and pretty soon we'd made a trip around the perimeter of the hay field and decided we'd better head back in and get to those chores.

Last Sharp Turn:
I've kind of taken over the barn chores. Hope my father-in-law doesn't mind. Do you see my barn chores? Look close. They're right there peaking at you. There are two of them.
Meet Margo (the black heifer) and Beaky (the red steer). They are both orphans who have come to live in the barn. I don't know how Margo got her name. It just came out of my mouth one day and I've been calling her that ever since. Maybe because she's a little snobby and also the leader, and Margo sounds kind of snobby and take charge-ish kind of name (if your name is Margo I'm sure your a lovely person and not a snob at all! Please don't take offense!)

Beaky, on the other hand, had some thought put into his name. He's so layed back (to the point I have to nudge him with my toe most day to get him up and moving) and not all that intelligent, and so I was telling Malcolm he kind of reminds me of that baby buzzard on Loony Toons. Do you know the one? The one thats really slow and dim witted? So Malcolm got online this morning and looked him up for me, and turns out his name is Beaky. So, now the steer has a name. Dumb name for a dumb steer, but he sure is handsome!
wish he'd been born a heifer. I might have tried to keep him.

So it was just the three of us hanging out together until a few days ago when we got some new friends down in the barn.
See, there's this cow that's been kept out here in the pasture around the house because she has twins. And one day apparently she decided two wasn't enough, and adopted a calf from the pasture where all the other cows are. He just showed up out there one day with the cow and her twins and never seemed inclined to go back home to his mommy.  Upon closer inspection, some started to wonder if perhaps he didn't have a mommy to go back to, so he and his adopted family were brought in, and thus, Beaky and Margo got a new friend. I just call him Baldy.
Since they were in, we decided to keep the cow and twins in because the twins just arn't growing. So every morning I go down and put the cow in the lot and lock the twins in a pen with feed. And then at night I go back and put them in a corral with their mom so they can nurse. Meet Thing 1 and Thing 2, not very attractive names, but appropriate considering they are so small and puny.
they are about the same age as Baldy, so you can see the size difference
I decided today that they actually look like they might be filling out a little. But then I'm not much of a judge of cattle. They are calming down some and getting used to my being around. But they are always very happy to get back with their mom in the evenings.
They are settling into the new routine pretty good. Mom is waiting for me at the gate every evening, and in the mornings its pretty easy to get her out and the calves shooed into the barn. But I like to stand around and watch when the reunion takes place every day. They like their feed, but there is nothing like a mother's love and fresh milk!

The countdown begins. I reckon it won't be too long before we get back to work. I'm not overly thrilled about it, and I keep making comments about just not going back, but I guess if I'm honest I know it won't be too bad. I do enjoy our adventures, and seeing something new out the window all the time, and not having to wash dishes after we eat or trying to figure out what to feed him when he comes in at 9:00 at night and is hungry because he hasn't had dinner yet. See, trucking has its merits!


TexWisGirl said...

love sweet lucy, and love those little twin calves. so cute. hope the haying gets completed soon for you!

Meagan said...

Hail: WOW and Impressive!

Home: Love the built in desk in your kitchen... and wish I had a gas stove like you do! ;-) It looks like you have TONS of space and I just know your library/craft room is going to be adorable when you get it finished! :-) Lovely home and I hope to see it for myself one day not too terribly long away!

Justine: She's beautiful and I can't wait to see THE dress. :-) Glad you got to go shopping with her!!

Forwheeler ride: FUN and great pictures for driving, dog sitting, and photographing! ;-)

Cows: SO cute! I love driving past a field of cows... I love them!

Louise said...

Well, you have gathered up a lot of "chores." And, cute ones, too. That's a beautiful dress that your sister-in-law has on, even if it isn't the one. She's a lovely young lady, and I think you're right that any dress would look good on her.

I liked the brief tour of the house. It nicely combines being beautiful, and being comfortable. That's a great balance.

Tuffy's Blog said...

Can't believe that hail!!! Your house is looking really good. Wish I could be there in person to see it. What is all that foliage that the baby cows are hiding in? I loved the shadow of you taking the picture of you and your little buddy.

Shirley said...

Love the rainbow shot, it has that 60's feel because of the color.
Hope you manage to get the hay up and stored before it goes to ruin.
I noticed a plethora of chickens in your kitchen. Love the corner sink with double windows.

Dreaming said...

That was a newsy post! Thanks for filling us in! I made it through every sharp curve. Thanks for the warning sign!
I love the calves - even Beaky! Poor fella! The twins are darling!
So you dread going back to work? It sounds like you are doing plenty of that right now!! (I know... it's different so it doesn't count as 'work'!)

Michaele said...

Love that you shared photos of your house. That is the PERFECT place to have a kitchen sink. A woman must have designed your house. I could look at photos of Montana all day. MT has sure had it's share of intense weather this year!

Jake said...

I'm married to a quilter and she was walking by as i'm reading your blog. She liked your quilt. Love the rainbow.

MTWaggin said...

Your twists and turns were great and sometimes, live just has curves and all yours look wonderful. What fun filled days even with chores (cute buggers that they are). Your rainbow picture rocks!

small farm girl said...

I don't know about you, but I like your adventures at home too! Have you guys ever considered maybe getting jobs closer to home?