WELCOME 7th calf – 2014

“ThomasJefferson” was born right before our eyes this evening! :) (Click here to read about how we are naming our boys this year…) His mama is Disco. (Click here to read about her calf from last year.)

We were late in doing our afternoon calf check since we had double header baseball games all afternoon. Truthfully, all we wanted to do was get inside, thaw out, and eat, lol…BUT we also knew Disco was due a couple days ago, and kinda had some signs earlier this morning that today might be her day. Soooo, Mike & I headed up on the 4-wheeler to take a peek…

Found Disco pushing out some feet! :)

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I left Mike with her, and drove back down to get some twine in case Mike needed to assist with pulling the calf out. But when I returned, he had already been born! :)

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He’s a pretty good sized boy – and his coloring looks neat, too. We are looking forward to seeing what he looks like after he’s all cleaned up. :)

He’ll spend the night in the field with his mama and the rest of the dairy girls. It was too close to dark & we were just too tired to walk them down this evening. So tomorrow, I hope to add some more pictures to this post. :)

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Updated 4-7-14:
Yesterday was such a beautiful morning!

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ThomasJefferson walked with his mama out of the field, and then she completely left him, lol! She got through that gate, and just started truckin’ to the barn! Well this little guy is NOT SO LITTLE, and needs to grow into his long legs, so we decided he’d get a wagon ride down. He filled up the whole wagon, lol! His markings are pretty cool – and we are debating if we will keep him as a bull. :)

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Only one more calf to come! Suezy is due 5-4… We are prayerful it will NOT be as chaotic as it was with her last year. Click here to read about that fiasco, lol:)

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WELCOME 6th calf – 2014

Meet “Pinetar”, lol… Her mama is ScotchTape, whose name category is “adhesives”. So when we were brainstorming for possible girl names, (being the baseball family we are) Pinetar came up! We decided to wait and see what the calf looked like – to see if the name would fit. And it did! :)

Click here to read about ScotchTape’s calf from last year. :)

When we went up to bring the milking girls down to the barn this morning, ScotchTape was looking longingly toward a blocked off corner of the field…

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Sure enough: her calf had gone under the single wire electric fence AND either through the big gate or through the high tensile fence into an adjoining field!! Probably wasn’t the smartest spot for ScotchTape to pick to have her calf, lol…

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Even though Pinetar ran from us at first, once she got closer to her mama, she cooperated nicely with the trek down to the barn. :)

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Some final encouragement from her mama to get through the last leg of the journey, lol… :)

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WELCOME 5th calf – 2014

Went for a family walk this afternoon and found this little cutie who walked right up to us… :)

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Caramel had her calf – a girl! Last year, she had Winchester. Click here to see that post. :)

We decided to make Caramel’s name category “flowers”, so meet: Tulip! :)

She made the trek down to the barn beside her mama, and will stay with her tonight. Then we’ll milk Caramel tomorrow with the others. :)

Thank You, Lord, for another miracle!

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WELCOME 3rd calf – 2014

Meet Adams. He was born this morning, and his mama is Gluey. (Click here to read about how we are naming our boys this year.) He’s a cute little guy – tinier than his half siblings, Washington and Coco. :)

Here he is standing beside his mama, with Tangerine photobombing, lol… :)

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Since we already milked today, we decided to bring Gluey and Adams down to the barnyard so she could get some privacy with her little guy. Then we’ll milk her tomorrow with the other two. :)

Adams ALMOST walked all the way down… Kinda got tired of walking in the sloppy mud, so he got a lift down the rest of the way. :)

Click here to read about Gluey’s calf last year – Xray. :)

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After all that exercise and the bumpy ride, it was time to eat again! :)

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WELCOME 1st & 2nd calves – 2014

Meet “Washington”! He is our first calf for 2014. His mama is Tangerine, and is dad was Cleatus. It was a joy to see him this morning – healthy and all cleaned up. :)

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Washington has a big sister named Banana. Click here for an old post that has links to take you back to her birthday in 2012.

He also has a big brother, Sahara, from 2013. Click here for old posts he was featured in. :)

Washington must have had a good breakfast, because he walked all the way down to the barn with his mama. His legs weren’t even the least bit wobbly! :)

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Lord, we are so thankful for a new calving season here on our farm, and we thank You for the gift of Washington today! We lift up the rest of our herd to You. Strengthen us to handle whatever situations come before us. May we remember it is Your plan we want – even when it’s hard. We grieve the loss of Pax from last week, but we thank you for the 7 years she milked and had calves for us. May the blessings around us always be more bold than the dark spots. Because the Truth is: This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 NKJV) Amen

And then, as I’m sitting in my car using the free wifi at the library to upload the pics for this post, I receive a txt from Mike at home:

OreoCookie had her calf this afternoon! Thought I’d include a couple pics of her in this post. More will follow, I’m sure… I LOVE her coloring!! :)

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Got home and decided we’d bring Cookie & her calf down to the barnyard, leave them together overnight, and milk her tomorrow with Tangerine. Oh, this little heifer calf is ADORABLE! She was a champ just like her half brother earlier today, and walked all the way down to the barn. Not sure of her name yet… UPDATED 3-22: The Sarver Family has named her Coco! :)

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Click here to participate in a Barn Hop! :)
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Apple cider vinegar – parts 2 and 3

On January 21st, we checked our ACV that had been fermenting in our cool basement since 12-20. [Click here to read about our first stab at making our own apple cider vinegar from raw cider.]

It grew another, really nice and thick “mother”. :)

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We strained it and poured it into two new jars…

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Then we poured new, fresh raw cider in with the two “mothers” to begin a new batch. :)

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And then we had the bright idea to actually TASTE the finished product to make sure it tasted like vinegar… WHICH WE SHOULD HAVE DONE FIRST, lol. And determined that it, in fact, was NOT ready yet. Grrrr. Guess we are learning a lot from our mistakes in this adventure, lol… :)

Our solution was to top the 2 jars of “almost vinegar” off with 1-1/2c of last batch’s “finished vinegar”, and let it sit another month…

MORAL OF THE STORY FOR PART 2: Just because you grew a nice sized “mother”, don’t assume it’s done fermenting into vinegar – TASTE IT FIRST. :)

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And here is Part 3 from yesterday, February 28th. You can see how thick the “mothers” are in the two half gallons we gave more ferment time to on 1-21. And YES, they tasted like vinegar this time around… :)

The gallon jar on the left was not ready yet (Yep – tasted it first, lol!), so we are letting it sit another month. You can see it’s grown a third “mother”… :)

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We strained the two half gallons that were ready & added “mothers” to new batches. I think we finally have the hang of this now. Fortunately for us, it is a very forgiving process! :)

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If anyone ever wants a “mother” to make their own, we are always happy to share. :)

Click here to attend a “Barn Hop” at The Prairie Homestead. :)

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