Tag Archives: hard work

Cattle Working Pens

Hubby and I spent most of February tearing out our old loading pen.  It was well over 50 years old and was worn out.  Instead of repairing like we normally do we decided to start over with this section of the pen.  The far end with the working head chutes and calf pens are on the opposite end and were redone three years ago.

This is the working part of the pen we completed three years ago.

This is the working part of the pen we completed three years ago.

Head chute for medical and castrating.  We consider this one of the best investments we've made in regards to working our cattle.  Hubby is less likely to get hurt, less stress on the calves and our daughter is learning to use it too!

Head chute for medical and castrating. We consider this one of the best investments we’ve made in regards to working our cattle. Hubby is less likely to get hurt, less stress on the calves and our daughter is learning to use it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boards have been torn off the posts and cut up for kitchen woodstove firewood.  We recycle as much as possible.  The old posts will be cut up for the big woodstove.

The boards have been torn off the posts and cut up for kitchen woodstove firewood. We recycle as much as possible. The old posts will be cut up for the big woodstove.

We’ve rehung some gates, tightened up some posts, and put in some posts.  Now, we wait for our lumber to arrive which has been an unexpected delay.  Most of the private lumber mills in the area will only cut for commercial folks.  Here’s some pictures of the work we’ve done so far and I’ll post more as we get the work completed!  I’ve definitely used muscles that have been lazy for some time!!!dscn9079

Fence posts dug, posts placed, quikrete poured and hardened.

Fence posts dug, posts placed, Qickrete poured and hardened.

Heavy equipment used to set some gate posts that we didn't replace.

Heavy equipment used to set some gate posts that we didn’t replace.

Rotted off gate posts at scale house.

Rotted off gate posts at scale house.

Area of most work yet to be done.

Area of most work yet to be done.

Some of the existing gates that we will use again.

Some of the existing gates that we will use again.

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We rehung these gates after we replaced the posts.

We rehung these gates after we replaced the posts.

Generator used to drill the hinge holes in the posts.

Generator used to drill the hinge holes in the posts.

Kubota tractor we used to drill the holes for the posts.

Kubota tractor we used to drill the holes for the posts.

We used our milkcans to haul water for the Quikrete

We used our milkcans to haul water for the Quikrete

The Massey Ferguson was used to haul in the new fence posts and hauling the pallet of Quikrete.

The Massey Ferguson was used to haul in the new fence posts and hauling the pallet of Quikrete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW WE WAIT!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Day

I’m whipped in a good way and made a major accomplishment with the aid of my wonderful husband today.

This is the area outside the yard on the right side of the house that I've planned a perenial flower bed.

This is the area outside the yard on the right side of the house that I’ve planned a perennial flower bed.

Hubby leveled it out for me and tore out a huge maple stump that had been rotting for years.

Hubby leveled it out for me and tore out a huge maple stump that had been rotting for years.

It needed to be tilled up and worked down.

It needed to be tilled up and worked down.

A friend of ours gave us some old railroad ties to use around the bed.

A friend of ours gave us some old railroad ties to use around the bed.

They will be used to contain the flower bed and to use as a guard to keep the chickens out while the bed is being established.

They will be used to contain the flower bed and to use as a guard to keep the chickens out while the bed is being established.

This morning hubby tilled up the entire area for me and afterwards I worked for three hours raking, leveling, pushing, prodding and now we have a really nice bed to show off some of my favorite flowers.

The black paper is two sheets wide and held down with metal  stakes that Eddie made from 8" aluminum nail spikes.

The black paper is two sheets wide and held down with metal stakes that Eddie made from 8″ aluminum nail spikes.

It's about 25 ft long and 4 ft wide.

It’s about 25 ft long and 4 ft wide.

I packed the dirt on the outside perimeter to keep the chickens from scratching it up and to level the ground so I can mow close to it.

I packed the dirt on the outside perimeter to keep the chickens from scratching it up and to level the ground so I can mow close to it.

The ties have been placed around the area after I covered it with black garden paper.

The ties have been placed around the area after I covered it with black garden paper.

It turned out a lot bigger than I had originally planned but it will be beautiful when all the plants are up and blooming.

This is a view from inside the yard looking out.

This is a view from inside the yard looking out.

This is a view from the driveway.

This is a view from the driveway.

I’ll be filling it full of tall flowers of hollyhocks, hibiscus, and coneflower and others as I find what I want but they’ll all be perennials  and I’m planning to put a snowball bush as the end closest to the driveway but on the outside of the bed.  There’s a young peach tree full of pink buds today at the other end of the bed.  I will be planting all of the seeds in a couple of weeks after we warm up just a little bit more.  I have a friend in Colorado that has just had another snowfall and I want to wait for that system to pass us by.

This is a view of the house from our gazebo.

This is a view of the house from our gazebo.

I think it’s going to be beautiful and will show off the side of the house as well.  I can’t put a lot of perennials in the yard because there’s too much shade but this bed will get sun all day and will be somewhat protected from the north and west winds.

Beautiful Gift from Friend

I have a friend that lives down the road from me about a mile and she is the sweetest lady you would ever want to meet.  I’ve known Linda for years and her boys and their families live close by to.  Linda is also retired from Virginia Tech and we both have so many interests and hobbies alike.  She is so talented and is willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat!  We need more people like her in our lives everyday!!

Linda has, I think, two looms in her home and she weaves rugs, beautiful rugs.  I have a loom that I bought at a yard sale for $25 but have never sit it up.  Linda has told me that when I’m ready she and her husband Gene will help me and figure out if all the parts are with it.  This is one of my resolutions for 2016 but first I have to clean out a room in the mansion to set it up.  Looms take up a lot of room.  She said she would teach me how to sit it up and give me all the basics to learn how to complete this old craft.

Last year when I was doing some “cleaning out” I found several totes full of upholstery fabric that was taking up too much space in my storage room. I gave Linda the fabric and she said she would make me a rug which was not necessary since she was helping me out by adopting all the fabric that I needed to do something with.

For Christmas, Linda made me this beautiful rug from some of the fabric I shared with her.

This is a "Linda Smith" original.

This is a “Linda Smith” original.

Handmade on her loom for my Christmas present!  It's inspiration to get mine set up!!

Handmade on her loom for my Christmas present! It’s inspiration to get mine set up!!

Linda Smith Creation

Linda Smith Creation

Linda made this for me with upholstery fabric I gave to her last year.  The pictures don't do the rug justice.

 The pictures don’t do the rug justice.  This woman is so talented and I’m very proud to call her my friend!!  The rug has taken up residence in my family room entryway so that everyone can see and enjoy as much as I am.

I’m hoping that 2016 will make me a weaver too!!

Heat

Winter 2014 warmth stockpile to be completed.

Winter 2014 warmth stockpile to be completed.

On Sunday morning we took off to the woods and started cutting for the 2014-15 heating season.  We found two oak trees that had been dead from the gypsy moth invasion three years ago and put more than a ton of weight on the farm truck.  Here’s a view of the visit with nature.

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IMG_0014We were there for about one and half hours and Hubby sawed the trees up and loaded the heavy pieces which were way to heavy for me and then I loaded the lighter stuff and enjoyed being in the woods.

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IMG_0004I enjoy anything that involves us being outdoors together and I love the smell of fresh cut firewood.  One of the trees was blown to the ground and heavier than the other because it soaked up the last rain.  The other tree was still standing but the bark had fallen off.  This will keep us nice and toasty next winter.  All we have to do now is split the big stuff and put it in the woodhouse.

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Weight loss update

On the 25th of March I posted about starting over on my weight loss goals. It’s working!! I’ve started keeping my food journal again and though I may not walk everyday, I am walking at least twice a week during my breaks at work and working in the yard or with the animals on the weekends. I went back for a weigh-in on the 9th of April and had lost two + pounds. I’m meeting with my weight coach every two weeks again.  The two new pair of pants that I had bought were size 14 and were starting to feel too tight to wear again.

Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in a size 14.

Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in a size 14.

The size 16’s were feeling very good but knew that wasn’t how I wanted to deal with this and I’m working really hard to get back on track with this weight issue.

My weight coach is wonderful and so encouraging. When I was dealing with my younger brothers health issues the anxiety was unreal and I didn’t want to burden my family with what I was feeling so I ate and didn’t exercise at all.  I guess one excuse is as good as any!!

I also have three friends at work that listen to my troubles, walk with me, and encourage me to keep working at it. Carol, Gwen and Kathryn make me laugh and feel good about myself. You guys are my weekday lifeline and I love all three of you!

My best friend that lives on the eastern shore it my other lifeline. We talk, cry, scream and do all the things that best friends do together, even at a distance, to get through the “bumps” in our lives. I love you Margaret!!

I went back to my weight coach Wednesday and have lost four more pounds in the last two weeks.  I was so excited!

I just wish the weather was more comfortable to walk in.  The wind wreaks havoc on my sinuses and I’ve gone all winter (KNOCK ON WOOD) without getting sick and don’t want to push my luck.  I will continue to take short walks a couple of times a day while taking breaks at work and definitely walk or work at the farm to get the exercise I need to lose more and replace the fat with muscle!

Hubby told me last night he could tell a difference and I know I feel better.  I really think the exercise, the food journal I keep and the not eating after 7:00 p.m. is the results of the weight loss.  My goal for the next 8 weeks is to lose 10 more pounds and I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.

Keep me in your prayers!!

Cleaning up the orchards

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

 

In June of this past summer, we had lots of tree and fence damage from the “duratio” that hit our farm.  I’ve never seen such wind and we were very lucky that we had no more damage than we did.  We did loose several apple trees and hubby has been working hard since that wind storm to get things back in order.

Hubby started the clean up in the orchard today and got all but one of the downed trees cut up and hauled off.  It looks kind of bare now but hopefully we’ll fix that.  Here’s a picture of the cleaned up orchard as of this afternoon.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

 

We won’t be able to replace those trees with the same type because they were trees grafted by the family years ago.  Luckily there are several of the same type in the orchard and I have 30+ apple stock in the cellar that are two years old and ready for grafting.  I need to get out soon and cut scion from the trees we have left and when spring truly breaks I’ll get that new stock in the ground, grafted and wrapped and shielded from all the wildlife that love tender buds.

I’m looking forward to another try at grafting myself.  Hubby is a real pro at it!  I’ve taken the classes but think maybe I try to hard.  We’ll see how they fair toward the end of summer and look for new sprouts on the grafts.  I LOVE FARMING!!!

More vacation/Spring Cleaning continued

Well, my spring cleaning has turned into summer cleaning.  I’ve procrastinated long enough and this weekend should be a test of my back and legs!!  I’ll be cleaning the room that everything landed in on the second floor when I cleaned the other three rooms.  I have a very large storage/linen room upstairs that is full of winter clothing, junk, excess furniture, lumber, flooring, paint and so many other things that don’t need to be there.  Then, there’s the cleaning up and out of the things that should be in the room.  Wish me luck and I’m too embarrassed to show the before pictures but I promise Good Will and the Thrift shop are going to love me on Monday.

Here’s the results of the guest room that’s waiting on my friend’s visit in August and I’m pretty pleased with how it all looks.  I hope she will be very comfortable in it.