Saturday, August 12, 2006

Since it's raining this morning (and I can't possibly vacuum or dust while it's raining outside), I thought I'd show you our new Ice Cream Shoppe :-)

In the picture above, you'll see Mama Patches and her 3 babies: Chocolate Chip, Orange Sherbet, and Creamsicle. (Ice Cream Shoppe ... get it??!) Patches had never been a very good mother and this time she totally abandoned her babies. Weldon rescued one that had been dropped in a mud puddle and he gathered all three to a dry location. The next day they were crying their little hearts out - HUNGRY!! What could we do but start feeding them with an eye dropper. After a couple days of that, we decided we had to catch Mama and make her do her duty. It took some doing, because she's never been very friendly, but we got her into an animal trap and put her babies in there with her. By the end of the day, all three babies were contentedly nursing - and I don't think they "let go" until sometime the following day :-) After 5 or 6 days in the trap, we decided we had to open the door and see if Patches would come back and continue caring for her babies. She did!! And what a fine mother she has been since then. And Patches even lets us pet her now and then. The kittens are fat and healthy and beautiful. Two of them are possibly adopted to good homes already. Yeah!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sure is busy here on the farm! I've made sweet pickles and dill pickles, strawberry jam and preserves, blackberry jelly, peach jam and preserves; I've frozen corn, green beans, black raspberries, blackberries, blueberries,and peach pies; I've canned tomato juice and chili sauce. Sure would have been nice if I'd cleaned out and organized the freezer before I started putting all this new stuff in there :-)

Besides food, there's always a lot going on with animals. We milk cows every morning and evening and chase them when they're not where they're supposed to be. This is a dairy farm, after all! We are milking 20 cows right now, down from 36 this winter. Those no longer being milked are out frolicking in the pasture, awaiting the birth of their baby calves.

Wild turkeys, snakes, baby birds, cats, and dogs have been doing their share of frolicking, also, not to mention all the bugs and other creepy-crawly things.

So much going on ... so little time to write it all down. Hope you're enjoying your summertime!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I said I would write more about our "hilarious" kitten, Licorice.
This is her story:
She was the only surviving kitty of three born to Spitz and, once she started getting all of mom's attention, she became a little butterball. Her front legs seemed shorter than normal, so she was like a little "low rider" coming to meet us every morning and evening. She never meowed but squeeked and grunted, telling us a new story everytime we picked her up. Hers is a short story. She died this week of unknown causes. Perhaps there was a physical problem that kept her from meowing - a problem that grew, causing her to stop breathing?
Her daily stories made us laugh, but her last story made us cry.
We miss you, Licorice!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tractor P u l l
On Saturday evening, Weldon and I finished chores early so we could go to a tractor pull in Winston-Salem. He hadn't been to one in 30 years and I'd never been, so we were looking forward to the event. When I first heard of tractor pulls, I imagined 2 tractors having a tug-o-war, seeing which one could pull the other over a line in the sand. Wrong :-) Instead, there are souped up pickups, 4x4s, garden tractors, and tractors that attempt to pull a weighted sled as far as they can. In the "good old days," farmers drove their tractors in from the fields to compete against their neighbors and win bragging rights. The sled they pulled got heavier as men jumped on it, and their distance was marked by a stick stuck in the ground. Today, the sled is weighted with a cement-filled form that increases the weight as it automatically moves towards the front of the sled and the distance is marked by a laser beam. And the tractors? At least some of them LOOK like tractors! but the vehicles (see list above) are big-boy, big-buck toys, built to look good and win. The engines can cost upwards of $60,000; one vehicle had a jet engine; the garden tractors (dust busters) don't have a single garden tractor part. My final comments: Loud! Strange! What's the point?! Weldon's final comment: We don't need to go for another 30 years!
(photos are from the United Pullers of the Carolinas website; from Gaffney, SC, pull)