Tuesday, February 4, 2014


What do each of these three individuals have in common?

Brad -   a 34 year old husband and father of 2 sons, veteren of the military, college graduate and avid outdoorsman.

Jackson - a lively, energenic 3 year old who idiolized his big sister and cousin.

Mara - a strong, courageous, amazing, athletic, smiley 21 year old lady.

Before I tell you what they have in common, lets roll it back to September 1994 - the day I took and passed my drivers license test.  While filling out the application with name, address, height, weight, birthdate, etc. I came across a little box that states “check here” if you want to register as an organ donor.  I guess I hadn’t really thought about it until that day.... By checking the box indicates “you wish to register as a donor. Registering means that you authorize the donation of your organs, tissues and eyes upon your death. Your gift will be used to save and improve lives through transplantation, therapy, research or education. If you are 18 years old or older, your decision may not be overridden by your family or any other person, but it's important to share your decision with your family.”  I am not a selfish person and by all means, if my organs can save or better someone else’s life when I am done with them - please, please take and use them.  BOX CHECKED.

Years down the road in 2006, a news story aired about a little girl who needed a bone marrow transplant and that there was going to be a bone marrow registery drive.  All it would take to get registered to see if you were a potential match for her (and everyone else on the waiting list) was 15 minutes of your time and a swab of your cheek.  Simple as that, I arrived at the designated registery drive site in the bottom of the basement in an old church, filled out some paper work, used a cotton swab and rubbed it around on the side of my cheek & whaa-la - I was now on the Be The Match bone marrow registery which is the first step to be someone’s cure.  A cure for leukemia, other blood cancers and bone marrow diseases.  Now obviously when you register to become a donor it doesn’t neccessarily mean that you are going to be called.  I have been on the registery for over 7 years and have not been contacted, however, if I ever do get that call - I am ready and willing to donate my cells.  

Now back to Brad, Jackson and Mara:
If you haven’t guessed what these three have in common - it is that they have all received an organ or a tissue transplant.

Brad and his wife Deanna during a hospital stay
The news of Brad (whom I graduated high school with) being diagnosed with stage II Hodgkins Lymphoma--nodular sclerosis in the spring of 2011 was shocking.  How could this be happening to someone the same age as me, who was in good health, very athletic, traveled the world, married with kids?  I kept in touch with Brad through Facebook and followed his caringbridge page that he and his wife updated as he endured various treatments including chemotherapy, a transplant of harvested marrow from his own bone marrow, radiation & a bone marrow transplant from a donor.  As Brad’s wife Deanna said on June 18th, the day of the bone marrow transplant “Yesterday across the world, an unknown person donated their bone marrow. They didn't know Brad or I and they didn't get paid. Yet, they selflessly donated their time and cells to Brad so he may have another shot at a cancer-free life. That kindness is immeasurable.”.  I absolutely couldn’t agree more! 
Brad battled this cancer and gave it his all.  In his Dec. 19th post, he stated that 100% of the donor’s marrow took and the CT scan showed no cancer but there was a fear that GVHD is what kept admitting him back into the hospital.  Sadly, Brad passed away 10 days later after he was rushed to the hospital and they discovered he had severe pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and had abnormally low white blood cells.

Jackson and his "HERO"
18 months post transplant
I met Jackson when he was a teeny, tiny 4 week old baby.  His mom had contacted me to take his newborn photographs and had asked to have them taken in their home due to him just getting out of the hospital.  I was glad to do so.  This little guy was so sweet, I felt for him getting such a rough start to life.  What I didn’t know was how tough the road ahead was going to get for him.  He was born with posterior urethral valves (meaning he couldn’t go to the bathroom while in utero and all the urine backed up and damaged his kidneys).  After four surgeries, he was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.  Finding a match was proving to be very difficult do to his blood type and antibodies.  After almost 6 months a match was found!  This little guy was going to get a kidney - from his very own 20 year old cousin!!  What a hero he is to that little guy.  Recovery was a long road but Jackson is a year and a half post transplant and is a happy, healthy 3 year old.  

Mara holding her heart post transplant
I had got to know Mara when she was in high school through a fellow bowling teammate.  The summer before Mara entered her senior year, she and her family came out to get Mara’s grad pictures taken.  I remember specifically the moment inbetween a backdrop swap when her mom, Heather, told me that Mara and her both had a heart condition and that they needed new hearts.  Wow, I had no idea what to say.  They both looked really healthy and Mara was into sports, how was that possible?  Heather explained that it was hereditary and that her mom (Mara’s grandma) had died from it when she was just 3 1/2 years old.  Mara and her mom were both diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick when they were both in kindergarten.  Mom and daughter had a lot of bonding time together with yearly tests, doctors appointments and even having pacemakers put in on the same day.  The time came though and Mara was first to receive a new heart in November 2012 and Heather received hers less than a year later in August 2013.  These two ladies are so strong and positive, I admire them.  Unfortunately, Mara went through rejection and was given an artificial heart a year later and sadly, while battling a blood infection this January - Mara passed away.  

Now, getting down to the nitty gritty....


I challenge you to do a selfless act.  Please consider becoming an organ and/or tissue donor!  For the organs, they are no good to you once you have passed on this earth - why not pass them on to someone to give them a second chance at life?  One donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 people.

Please visit the following sites to sign up (in some states, putting it on your drivers license is not good enough):

http://donatelife.net/ - Will have links to each of the 50 states sign up sites.
http://bethematch.org - Nation Bone Marrow Donor Program
www.kidneyregistry.org/ - National Kidney Registry

Need facts and statistics first???  Here ya go:

Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual's time of death whether donation is possible.
Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.
Fact: When matching donor organs to recipients, the computerized matching system considers issues such as the severity of illness, blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, and geographic location. The recipient's financial or celebrity status or race does not figure in.
Fact: An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.
Fact: There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.
Fact: Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their donation decision.
Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.
Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same. Brain death is final.

Some statistics:

  • Almost 100,000 men, women and children currently need lifesaving organ transplants.
  • Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • An average of 18 people dies each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
  • In 2005, there were 7,593 deceased organ donors and 6,895 living organ donors resulting in 28,108 organ transplants.
  • In 2005, 44,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.
  • Approximately 1,000,000 tissue transplants are performed annually.
  • According to research, 98% of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86% have heard of tissue donation.
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

Have I convinced you to sign up yet?  

Give life - I challenge you! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Love Affair, Now Divorce...

Yep, exactly what the heading says.....

Last year the love affair ended, this year - a divorce is in the works.  Divorce from my PHONE that is!!  After being quite successful at ending my love affair with Coca-Cola (going on 1 yr and 1 month), I have decided that I need to better myself, kids and husband by getting more things done around the house, try new things and spending more time with the family by going through the big D with my phone.  I have contemplated this numerous times, and I guess the new year would be the best time to take action.

I find myself attached to it.  My husband can atest to that (and I know it annoys the crap out of him).  Its with me 24-7, in the bathroom, cooking dinner, watching tv, driving, in the barn and even under my pillow when I sleep.  I am always playing games, checking the news websites, reading the paper, craigslist, email and ofcourse - Facebook.  The paper and the news sites I understand, I like to know what’s going on in the world and I guess because we never watch regular tv due to netflix, I am not getting updates on what goes on in the area.  Craigslist and all the FB rummage sites - WTF, I don’t need any more crap in the house....And Facebook- I love reading what is going on in everyone else’s life but holy crap - I SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THERE!

I am a phone addict, is there such thing??   Well, I am self diagnosing myself as one - A PHONE ADDICT.  We were at the movies a couple weeks ago and I soooooo wanted to pull it out of my pocket and start scrolling through it, same with when we were visiting the hubby’s grandparents (I actually left it in the car so I wouldn’t pull it out!), driving - yep, I said driving.  I am admitting that I pulled it out before and looked at it, my god - I am putting myself and every other driver, pedestrian, child, house, animal & lightpole out there at risk!!  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So with that said, I am putting down the phone.  If I don’t answer your text, email or phone call - don’t panic, I will get back to you but it will not be in the timely couple minute matter that it has been.  It will be in the same timely fashion as it was 20 years ago before everyone had phones or internet.  

This was one tough decision to make but who ever said that divorce is/was easy??? 

Monday, April 29, 2013

To My Team!

To my team:

Ok ladies, this has been running though my mind of what I would say to you guys on bout day if asked because it seems whenever the captains ask what am I feeling, how am I feeling or if I am ready and I can’t ever really seem to spit it out.  I am actually thankful that noone asked on Saturday because I fear I would have lost it with tears.
My Team - Harbor City Roller Dames
photo credit - JS Photography

I just want to say that I LOVE all of you!  

My family and I have been big followers of HCRD’s and always came to the DECC to watch the bouts.  If I had it my way, I would have started derby when Red put out the original call for people to join derby.  I did email her and she sent me all the info for their first get together.  I never went though because my husband had said there was no way I woud be able to do it and I am not cordinated enough and was he afraid I would get hurt.  

3rd practice ever.
Please don't hit me!
A few years went by and the urge was still there.  By this time, my kids were skating every weekend with grandma at the roller rink and loving it.  I did some snooping around to find out about junior roller derby and that is when I found the other area team offered it for young kids.  There it was!  That was my in!!  If the kids could do it, I could too!  

Here is a peak on how “The Udder Woman” began:  
My very first bout.
Foster skated for another team.
photo credit - ChipPlaza Photography
May 2011 - I told the kids when they got home from school that we were going skating but not at the roller rink.  They were excited until I explained that they had to wear helmets and pads (not telling them its roller derby in fear that they want to go).  They were really confused saying “grandma never makes them wear that!”.  I just told them that the place we were going required it.  So that was the start, they actually started a week before me as I didn’t have any skates.

By luck, I found a $25 pair of skates (in my size - what are the chances of that!?!?!?) on craigslist, hubby bought me pads and helmet and I was all set.  First time on the skates....ummmm....yeah....could barely stand up but was expected because it had been about 20 years since I had last been on skates.  My dreams of being able to skate at the DECC like some of my HCRD idols were looking pretty slim but I guess you have to start somewhere.

Fast forward to Oct 2012:
I made some amazing friends but I had some big decisions to make.  The drive to practice was starting to take a toll on me being that it was almost an hour drive one way (and road construction made it worse), the bout schedule was from late spring into summer which wasn’t working for me being that I usually have a wedding to photograph every weekend in the summer, and that when there was an away bout that I could actually go to - it was way too far for me to travel being that I have goats that need to be milked daily in the summer - can’t really tell the lady goats “hey, I will be home in a couple days - sorry, you are going to have to wait to be milked”....doesn’t work that way when you have a farm!

Final Score:  HCRD 161, FMDG 157
So it was either hang up the skates or consider transfering over to HCRD (which I totally thought I did not have the skills nor the coordination to be able to competively skate with their team and that I would probably make a huge fool of myself).  Plus, I had always heard rumors (and not from other team) that they were all a bunch of b!tc#e$, there is a ton of drama, you won’t like skating over there, etc., etc.....with all that said I have to say I was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY nervous about checking out a practice.  
The Udder Woman
photo credit JS Photography

Fast forward to now:
I just have to say that all the rumors I heard are untrue!  You all have made me feel so welcome since I joined!  I am very glad I made the decision to keep skating.  My skills have grown tremendously from six months ago when I first laced up as a Roller Dame.  I want to thank all of you for continually pushing me at practice and giving encouraging words and support!  It was AMAZING to have skated at the DECC this past Saturday in front of such a large crowd WITH my HCRD idols.  I would have never believed anyone two years ago that you would be hearing “The Udder Woman” annouced as a rostered skater with HCRD at the DECC.

So proud be able to call you all my teammates!  You are all wonderful!  I don’t care what anyone else says but HCRD ROCKS!  

Come join us!  www.harborcityrollerdames.com
For all you blog followers, if you set your mind to it - you can do anything.  Have you ever thought of trying derby??  If so, you should!!  Or if you feel you cannot skate but would still like to be involved with the team - we are always looking for volunteers.  For more information, please check out my team's website:  www.harborcityrollerdames.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Snow - Balls - how fitting!

So my sister has been patiently waiting for another blog entry and I am sure a few of you have too.  

Poop puddle
I am going to use this entry to vent but first a quick update on the goats - All of our ladies have kidded and babies (just shy of 20 total) are all doing good.  The babies are loving this snow but I am not!  I am sick of the snow.  SOOOO, SOOOOOO SICK OF IT that I am starting to think that we should sell the farm and get the hell out of dodge.  I just want green grass - that means no more throwing hay or walking knee deep mud when the white stuff melts.  Or hauling hay from another farm every week since we ran out of what we bought for the year.  (And that is another story in itself since there is a hay shortage and prices are through the roof!).  

Getting muddy
Today’s adventure.....it appears that my daughter’s little "steer" that she showed at the fair last year is not a steer after all.  When we bought him he was already banded and taken care of.  Well, the idiot who banded him missed a ball - how that F do you miss a ball!!???!!  (I am the bander when we do ours and let me tell you, missing one will never happen, even if I have to fondle and massage the damn things back down. - gross but it has to be done!)  I discovered Ralphie's issue a few months ago after he kept trying to mount me when I was doing chores.  Let me tell you when you are in the middle of filling water buckets or stuffing hay into the feeders and out of nowhere something huge is clambering on your back  - it freaks you out.  And then when you realize its your "steer" trying to get his way with you - OH BOY, out of the barn he went to live with the big boys and girls.  We were hoping "he didn't work".  Well, that hope was shot out the door today after seeing his wiener come out today while trying to get on one of the heifers (who is quite larger than him, not even sure he could reach)- he had to be moved ASAP and the hubby had to leave for work.  

All fixed
Ofcourse - the corral needed to be blocked off, new wood put up where boards were missing, calf huts moved to the corral plus a bale of hay put in there cause I am NOT picking off a round bale and moving it by hand in there.  (I already pick off bales in the barn to feed in there and move about 2400lbs of hay by hand a week, I surely do not need to be moving hay by hand across the pasture too).  Started out with fixing the boards, not a problem, I can handle a hammer and nails.  Then I had to find something to block the corral off.  Dug out the buried in snow cattle panels and drug them up the road and through the yard, rigged them up the best I could to make a gate.  Back out in the pasture to move the calf huts.  Ok, maybe not....After snapping a shovel in half trying to dig out the calf huts, I was swearing like mad and I went in the house in tears.  I called my husband and he said to leave everything until he got home.  I didn’t think that was a good idea....cause the “deed” could have already taken place by then and that would NOT be good!  There is no way in hell that we need to have calves being born in the dead of winter.  

Rigged up gate
I hate asking for help with things but I sucked it up and called my neighbor.  I felt bad calling her since she works midnights and was sound a sleep but she came to the rescue to operate the skid-steer (thinking maybe I should learn how work that thing even though I REALLY don't want too cause then I will be expected to use it and if something breaks- it will be my fault!).  Once she freed the stuck calf huts and helped move them in the corral along with a bale, I thanked her profusely and told her I owed her lunch next week.  

She offered to stay to help get Ralphie in the the corral but I figured he would be easy to get over there since he is halter broke so I told her no - go home and get some sleep.  I should have just had her stay.....Ralphie was NOT going to cooperate getting the halter on.  Finally got a rope on him, then a nice drag through the mud I went.   Phew - he stopped and I cornered him between the gate and the barn and put the halter on - upside down and backwards!!  That wasn't working so as I was fixing it another steer came up behind him and mounted him, well that freaked out one of the heifers and she squeezed though the little section of gate I had open to move Ralphie through.  Not to worry, she was still in a fenced in area but now she was in with the goats.  AHHHHHHH!  That was real fun chasing her around to get her back over to the gate (which I had now shut otherwise all the goats would have been on the cattles side). Successfully got her back over, was able to fix the halter situation, now it was time to move.  NOPE - he was not moving!  I pulled and tugged and all he did was fight it and go backwards.  It was like 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards.  I decided I would try and push him (hoping he wouldn’t kick) and steer him with the halter rope in one hand and the rope around his neck in the other hand kinda like driving a cart.  I managed to get him though the gate without anyone else crossing to the wrong side, around the barn we went and back up the other side towards the corral.  I was getting exhausted as the snow is not plowed, I kept sinking and I was fighting him the whole time.  As I was pusing him with my chest right on his rear, he decides he is going to poop!  FABULOUS, who doesn’t like cow poop smeared across their chest!!!???!!!!!  That last 50 feet to the corral seemed like a mile and when I got him in there it felt like I crossed the finish line.  Too bad nobody was cheering for me!

Hmmmpppfff - would rather lay in
the hay instead of the hut that
he normally chooses to
squeeze his fat body into.
Glad I went through all the effort
to move it in there.
Now it was time to bring him a buddy.  #50 was going to join him.  I walked into the barn to get him and realized he would have to wait, I was out of energy - heck I will never have enough energy to move him myself.  #50 is about 9 months old and is very strong.  When we wormed the calves earlier this year, he wanted NOTHING to do with it.  In his craziness, he plowed through the pens in the barn, knocked my husband down & ran me over scraping my arm along a cattle panel (to which I now have a pretty 5 inch scar on my arm).  He is going to be a two man job to move if not three.  
One-baller Ralphie

So that was my exciting 4 hour barn chore morning.  Lots of swearing, LOTS!  Hope the next time I drop F bomb when I am out there that all the animals don’t come running to me.  From the way it was coming out of my mouth, they may think that’s all of their names!  Ooooopppps!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Love Affair Gone Bad

Just over 3 months ago I gave up my love affair with Coca-Cola.  Let me tell you, it has NOT been easy.  I really depended on all the sugar and caffeine - consuming about 6 cans a day to keep me going.

In fact, it substituted as breakfast.  As soon as the hubby drove off for work, my first can was cracked and gone within 5 minutes.  Loved the feeling of the fizz and most importantly, it gave me the urge to poop.  I know, I know - TMI (too much information) but seriously if I didn’t have a can of coke, there would be no toilet time.

Just say NO!
With addicts, they remember their last time, just one last fix.  Well, my one last can wasn’t planned nor did I see quitting even coming so the words “one last time” didn’t apply.  My last can happened at my step-mom’s birthday party on Dec. 15th.  I hadn’t had a coke all day so when we got there I happily cracked open a coke.  Little did I know that the next can would become the last.  I sipped away on the second can until we were ready to go and that’s when it happened - the love affair abruptly ended.  Not because I wanted to...it was more because I didn’t have any left at home and I refused to buy a 12 pack at the local country gas station for $6!  So for two days I was without....then the migraines & nausea set in.  WOW, I was miserable!  That’s when I decided enough is enough.

Here is my parting letter the day I said I was done:

Dear Coca Cola, 

We have been together for a long time - from thin to thick (which I thank you for contributing to my midsection muffin top), and in good times and in bad. You have been there for me to keep me going when sleep is hard to come by, help control/maintain my bitchiness, give me enough energy to juggle two businesses, a farm, kids, bowling & roller derby and finally stimulating morning bathroom duties.

After this weekend and having the last can out of your case and being totally out for two days, you punished me with an awful, awful migraine and even made me throw up my delicious Grizzly’s dinner. That was totally uncalled for. How DARE you make me waste an entire day of not being able to get anything done!! I have dreaded the day that I would say this but I am ENDING my love affair with you. No, I will not be bringing home your buddy Diet, he does not meet the expectations as you had fulfilled.

Sad to see you leave my life but here’s to the beginning of a new, hopefully healthier new year!!

Signed ~

The first few weeks were really tough.  I craved the sugars so bad.  I almost gave in but was able to hold on and be strong.  I think one of the toughest days was going from derby practice to a beef meeting and sitting besides someone who had a can of pop (and not even a coke at that!).  It looked like GOLD and was sooooo tempting.  As she lifted it up to her mouth, I felt like ripping it from her hands and guzzling it down.  Now obviously I didn’t do that but I do wonder what the rest of the members would have thought if I did that!!  Crazy, pop deprived mom dressed in fishnets and shorty shorts stealing pop.  WOW, that would have been a sight to see!

Boring black tea
I must confess that I did not cut out the caffeine.  I LOVE plain, black, boring tea so I now consume MANY cups of that a day.  I do use the same tea bag for the whole day so I am not getting as much caffeine as one would think, in fact by the end of the night, its pretty much plain hot water.  However, there have been two nights that I must not have had too many cups during the day thus making my night tea caffeinated which then resulted in me being up until 3 or 4am.  Lesson learned - no tea after 6pm or make a decaffeinated cup instead.

Scale today!
So here it goes......the best part of this whole “ending my love affair” is.......the scale!  I went from over 200lbs to just hitting the high 170’s.  23.6lbs to be exact.  That equals out to be a small child or a bag of dog food or 3 gallons of milk!  It’s crazy how much I have lost just with cutting out pop.  I am sure the 2-3 practices of roller derby a week sweating for an hour and a half each time has contributed to the loss but I know that from practicing I have gained a lot of muscle.  Not only does the loss show on the scale but it shows in my clothes too.  My jeans that I bought last fall are falling off even with a belt, shirts that wouldn’t normally fit actually look half-way decent again and....my underwear are all too big!!  Body wise - my love handles are getting smaller, my belly is somewhat looking flatter again (despite the ever lasting butt looking appearance it has from the emergency c-section) and my boobs are once again sticking out further than anything else on my body!  YAY!
Way too big!

Looking into the future - I think with a little bit of a diet change and/or added daily exercise besides barn chores and derby, I could easily see being down to 160lbs or less by the end of summer.  Is that my goal??....Well, I am not sure yet - get back to me in a month!

Until then - cheers with black tea!

Monday, March 18, 2013

And then there were cattle....

Part 2 of the start of the farm....
White faces from a few years ago.

A year went by and I got the “honey, we should get some cows”.  My answer - NOPE!  NOT HAPPENING!  We knew nothing about cattle and were still very new to the horse thing that I didn’t think it was a good idea.  My husband would still bring it up now and again and finally one Sunday while I was doing a photo shoot consult there was a knock at the door.  It was the farmer neighbors from down the road who we buy hay from.....and annouced that our steers were here and where could they unload them.  WTF!!!  I flew off the handle!  (Thank god my photo consult was a good friend otherwise I might not still have them as a customer.)  I went outside cursing my husband, I was SOOOOO furious!!  I couldn’t believe that this was happening!!

A jersey that we raised up bottle
feeding dressed up for a contest as
Marilyn Mooooo-nroe.
They unloaded them into the horse corral which was where they were suppose to stay until they settled down and learned the electric fence.  Well, apparently one had no intentions on staying in there.  Have you ever seen a steer jump?????  Well he did that day....He jumped over the 5ft high boards smashing them to pieces and proceeded to run straight through the fenced in pasture with the horses chasing him.  Do you think he stopped when he got to the gate on the opposite end?...nope....kept right on going busting through the gate and into the second pasture.  HOLY CRAP - there goes $700 running away!  &#$^#(%(!!**%#&#*(%)%*@&^#@%#@*Q%(&*%(#*&%(Q*#^%#@*&^*@$^*&#^%#^%&)##!*@  (I think the farmer neighbors learned some new words from me....all profanities!!  The one even commented that I might have scared the other from dating!).

Since he ended up in the second pasture (or so we hoped....), we were told just to leave him and let him settle down.  And that if we didn’t see him in a few days that we might have to go “hunting”.  The next day we spotted him at the fence line and let him back in.    So that is how we got into beef cattle!  

Stay tuned for more...still have goats, bees and chickens to go!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Work, Work and MORE Work

We have a baby!!  Ok, she is a week and a half old now...I am slacking on blogging.  But seriously, there hasn’t been any extra time to blog.  Last week was a whirl wind with no relaxation in there.  

Baby girl Onyx
Somewhere between Thursday night and Friday morning, Brownie had given birth with no complications.  It was a nice surprise to start Friday off with - a cute little black baby girl.  Ok, she was actually pretty big since she was the only baby.  Brownie needed that though as last year she had triplets and I think she needed a break as those babies are demanding!  I took the baby into the house in the later morning and did a quick photo shoot with her.  She was so sweet nuzzling up to my chin trying to nurse on the way up to the house.  Momma wasn’t to happy though.

On to Saturday and the kids had their beef spaghetti dinner/silent auction fundraiser.  Spent the whole afternoon into the evening from setting up to serving to taking down then home to do chores in the dark.  

We started off Sunday with barn chores, then going down the road to pick up calves, back home to clean the barn, band, tag, worm & vaccinate all the calves that were already in the barn.  I am the lucky one who gets to do the banding....for those who don’t know - that entails putting a rubber band around the calves balls.  Usually its pretty quick but there are some instances where they suck their balls up so you have to massage them back down.  Yep - fondling cow balls!!  Sometimes you even get crapped on in the process too - thank goodness that happens about 1 in 20 times and I was lucky to stay crapless this time.  By the time we were done with everything and back in the house it was 6:30pm.  We were both exhausted.  Catching those 4-6 month old calves really takes a toll on your body.  I was on the ground and run over WAY to many times.  Got a nice bruise and cut at least 6 inches long on my arm from trying to catch and hold a calf but resulting in my arm not holding and scraping down the cattle panel.  Then was plowed to the ground and had my pelvic bone stomped on by #50.  He is NOT a people person and was not about to be caught.....Seems to me that he cause the cut on my arm too.  And I know my husband ended up on the ground from him as well.  
Relaxing in the truck
after getting a cast.

Monday I spent the morning at the vet with a goat.  She must have gotten underneath in the herd, got stepped on and broke a leg.  LOVELY!!  So there I was putting her in the front seat of the truck, she refused to lay down and was standing up the whole way into town.  I got some weird looks at the stop lights as who expects to see a goat looking at you through a window when you are at a red light.  We got there and she decided to poop, good thing I had a blanket on the seat.  I plucked her out and put her on the ground and then she peed!  THANK GOODNESS she was outside because she had a river flowing!!  Into the vet we went.  After the exam and xrays, she was casted.  They said she was the best goat patient they ever had, didn’t cry, try to get away or anything.  I carried her back out to the truck and she finally laid down.  She had some learning to do with this cast on her leg as she wasn’t sure what to do.  Next it was time to spray out the  bed of the truck from hauling calves.  Went to the first car wash, no dualies or ext. cabs with 8 foot boxes allowed.  Called the hubby and he said go in anyways....I didn’t as the owner or manager was in the office and I didn’t want to get yelled at....
Glad to be home!

I headed across town, dropped eggs off for a customer and then pulled into another car wash.  Since there were no signs - I drove in barely fitting.  Now for the fun job....Let me tell you I will NEVER spray the bed of the truck again.  I was covered in spattered cow crap from head to toe!  Disgusting!!  I felt bad for the person who was waiting in line after me.  There was even poop splattered on the car wash garage doors!!

Next was the post office and ofcourse I would run into someone I know....remember, I am splattered in poop looking my finest.  Then it was a quick run into the sandwich shop to grab lunch and meet my husband since I still had an hour before I picked up grain from the brewery.  

Creative way of moving a 500lb
barrel of grain to the calves
at the back of the barn since
the 4-wheeler trailer had a flat tire.
Finally headed home, got the goat settled into a pen then started chores.  Still super sore from the day before - dumping 2000lbs of wet grain for the animals was a little difficult but I did get it done.

The next day was more farm work - headed to pick up three of our butchered steers and deliver them.  That meant more lifting....1000 lbs of meat - UGGHHHH.  Who needs to work out????

Finally got a break on Wednesday to get some computer work done - my only day of the week so I had to use it wisely.

My brother unloading hay.
Back to farm work on Thursday hauling hay.  We were down to one bale and the person who we buy from didn’t have any extra to spare since he had semi loads hauled out to the south where there was a shortage on hay.  Thankfully, I found another local person who had some hay to spare and didn’t charge me a $100 a bale like some other people in the area are doing.  Glad to know there are still some nice people out there!!  But before I could get on the road with the trailer I had to get it out first.  I hooked up to it and tried to go - NOPE, stuck.  The tires of the trailer were frozen in ice.  My brother (who was over to help unload since I do not know how to use the skidsteer - more on that in a different blog) had to lift up the back of the trailer with the skidsteer to get it out of the ice.  Perfect, try to pull forward again - NOPE.  The yard where the trailer was parked was pure ice so the tires on the truck just spun and spun, there was no moving this big, heavy trailer.  He tried pushing the trailer from the back while I tried going forward - NOPE.  Just great, I went from getting to the farm to pick up hay early to now going to be late.  One last option, he was going to pull the trailer backwards while I was in reverse.  YAY!!  It moved and I was able to get out.  It was smooth sailing from there.  I even got to practice (ok, it probably wasn’t practice since I really needed to do it) backing up the huge trailer numerous times  to turn around and by the end of the day was able to do it on the first try without having to pull forward numerous times and start over.
Selling goat milk soap at the expo

Friday was spent getting ready for the women’s expo the next day where I had a booth to sell my goat milk soaps.  Mad scramble as always to get everything ready and NOT forget anything!!  I would say that I was pretty successful as the only thing I forgot was my business cards but I was able to make some generic ones so it was no big deal.  Expo was a success, sold a lot of soap, met a lot of people and even got to talk “goat” with some goat owners.

PHEW!  That was the week and a couple of days in a wrap, now you see why there was no blogging!  Glad it is over, now I have to plant my butt in my computer chair to get caught up on photos.  Oh and don’t worry, I have more to share on the start of our farm.  You won’t want to miss it, I PROMISE!