Monday, September 29, 2008

This is "calving season" and, as of this writing, 11 babies have been born: 7 heifers and 4 bulls. The first little heifer was born when Hurricane Hanna blew through here,
so Weldon named her Hanna.
We don't usually name the calves, but he got us started!
The next was Tuesday ,
then Tina, then Nellie Bell, and Maaaae.
We haven't named the 2 newest ones yet, and another is due to be born any minute.

This year I am helping Edith with the feeding of the baby calves morning and evening and washing the bottles and buckets when we're done. She still does all of the work with the older heifers,
but maybe I'm helping to lighten her load in some small measure.

If you've read my blog from the beginning, you know that when I first came to the farm, very few of the cats had names. I started naming the new kittens as they were born: Kit Carson and Big Boy, Spitz, Kitten Kaboodle ... ; and then I started naming the cats that had been here for years: Hatfield & McCoy, Big Mama, Tripod, Pretty Boy. Someday I'd like to make a list of all the cats I have named.
The funny thing is, now everyone helps to name the kittens!
This year, even Edith got into the act by naming this little cutie:
Uno :-)

This spring the coyotes got more than their fair share of our cats and kittens.
In spite of that (and a number of other catastrophes), we are not experiencing a kitty shortage.
A couple of cats have had litters of 5 kittens this year!
Spitz set a new farm record by giving birth to 7 babies.
Unfortunately, only 3 survived, all girls.
Pictured, left to right: Sparky, Spice, Spots, and momma Spitz.

I didn't know that some cats like corn on the cob. Every time I sat outside to husk corn,
here came Oreo, looking for a handout.

I don't think a day goes by without some sort of cat or kitten shenanigans.
They certainly bring a lot of joy (and sorrow!) to our days.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

MN Vacation 2008
We had five wonderful, relaxing days in Minnesota, August 19-23. The travel was enjoyable, the weather perfect, and food, friends, and family the best!
After leaving the MSP airport early Tuesday morning, we took the l-o-n-g way to my brother Rick's place (in Chisago City) - by way of St. Cloud :-) Lots of farming country (very dry there, too) and a big equipment dealership for Weldon to drool in.

In getting from one place to another, we always tried to take the back roads so we could enjoy the scenery.
On Tuesday evening, Rick & Kathy fixed a fabulous supper on the grill. Later, while roasting marshmallows, Rick took a sip out of his cup and there was the cutest little tree frog on the rim. Kathy wanted to get a photo, too, but just as she was ready to snap his picture, he took an amazing leap ... right into the coals. N-o-o-o-o-o :-(
Wednesday morning they took us by this neat old round barn, built from a kit sold by Sears.
From Rick's we made a leisurely trip to my brother Dave's in Mora. (You'll have to get out your MN map.) Dave & Judy's place became our "bed & breakfast" for 2 nights. While there, we had a mini family reunion with my parents, Judy's sister, my Aunt Lois, and Don & Lil (my uncle & aunt). We ate lots of food (fish fry - mmmm), had cow races on the wii, played dominos, worked on a jigsaw puzzle, and sat around and talked a lot. Such fun!

On Thursday we went to our one-and-only tourist attraction on this trip: The Hinckley Fire Museum and monument in, you guessed it, Hinckley.

We journeyed south to Rush City to meet Tavis, a guy Weldon "met" through his beloved tractor nut site. He told us about his work (trains!!), took us to lunch, showed us his home, and gave us some strawberry jam.

What a [tall] guy!!
From there we continued to Stark (hope you have a good map!) to see my best friend from Cambridge High School days. I hadn't seen Linda & Jack in probably 35 years!! (If I were the crying type, I would be have been crying tears of joy.) They quit dairy farming just a few years ago, so Weldon felt right at home.
Back to Dave's for the night. Friday morning (after a delicious and nutritious breakfast) we took Ma & Pa and Maddie (their dog) and started our trip down to my youngest brother Randy's place. We took the scenic route (of course) and stopped briefly at Rush Lake.

Then we stopped in North Branch to visit with my former mother-in-law Esther. She is 93 years old and still going strong!!
At Randy & Jane's we had a family get-together with all three of my brothers and sisters-in-law and some of my nieces and nephews. The biggest surprise here was that "the twins" showed up: Joanne & Jeanne from my youngest years in Kettle River. Unbelievable!!!! (Ma had arranged this.) They couldn't stay long, so we talked really fast. If I were the crying type, I would have been crying tears of joy :-)
Here is Randy, commiserating with his daughter Amanda
and Great-grandma Naomi, sharing quality time with her newest great-grandbabies.
Saturday morning, Weldon went to spend some work time with Jeff Winberg, whom we met 2 years ago while in MN.
While he was getting his farm fix, "the girls" went to get their nails done and hit a few yard sales. I acted as photo-journalist, and the tell-all expose will be published later this year.
Then it was time to head to the airport, turn in the rental car, and sit back and enjoy the flight home. Aaahhh - vacations are a wonderful thing!!!