Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yes. I'm here.

It's been a week since I updated this silly blog, so I had better play catch-up with some assorted happenings.  First, the cows.  Most of my plans for the cows did not come to fruition, but isn't that how it goes with "plans"?

It was going to be so simple:  Each cow would calve, I would buy some calves to place with the cow's own calf, and they would all do the milking for me, grow like crazy, and make me some money.  HA!  It actually worked that way with Grace, until I sold her own calf and the two that nursed alongside her.  When I brought in new calves, she wanted nothing to do with them.  So she gets put in the stanchion with an anti-kick device on her and is forced to let them nurse.  

Then Penny gave birth to a dead calf.  If I thought Grace hated the two calves she was forced to feed, that was NOTHING compared to the way Penny feels about her three "adopted" babies.  The anti-kick device somewhat limits how hard and how much she can kick on her right side, but she can deal what would possibly be a lethal blow to the left and to the back.  So I bring in the youngest calf and let him nurse one teat dry from the right side, boot him out, and let in the "two brownies" as I call them, who nurse side-by-side on the right and reach under to get to the teats on the other side.  The original intention was to let all three nurse, one on each side and one in back, but Penny was able to put the fear in them pretty quickly when I tried that.  Another plan, foiled.  Seriously, that cow could kill a calf.  Maybe one of these days I'll do a video, because you almost have to see it to believe it.  Meanwhile, I can't leave our property for over twelve hours at a time, because I am the only one who can handle the calf situation.  No vacation for me this summer.

I will admit it has been good for me to see all this action, because for most of my life I have put my trust in those "kickers" that I thought disabled a cow from doing any real harm.  It's a wonder I wasn't killed.  Never again will I assume I'm safe when the kicker is on the cow.  Oh, by the way... both of my cows are sweethearts when I'm milking them.  They don't lift a foot while I'm handling them.  So there's that.

The garden!  I don't care for radishes, but Cliff does, so I always plant some.  This year I had a record crop, with radishes as big as plums.  I took a picture of a gallon ice-cream-carton full of them and put it on Facebook, and my Russian (or Ukranian) friend, Meesha gave me the link to a recipe for pickled radishes.  He's never made them, but says he eats them at a Mexican restaurant.

I like them much better than plain old radishes.  As they soak in the pickling solution, the red outsides of them fade, and the white insides turn a nice pink color.

Because I just came in from the garden before I took this bite out of the radish, there is, indeed, dirt beneath my thumbnail.

My garden often shows me parables while I'm out there.  The most common one has to do with weeds.  I know Jesus told the parable of the tares and the wheat, in which he said to leave the weeds there until harvest.  That might work with wheat, but not with my garden.  Last year I let my garden go something awful, and weeds took over.  Just like in your life, even though you might decide to change your ways and do things right this time, you are still going to have to deal with the problems last years' weeds left behind.  Karma.

On the upper left you can see a couple of green bean seeds that just came up, but everywhere else you can see the tiny weed seedlings that are there because of last year's neglect.  The worst part is that I just tilled between the rows five days ago, so these weeds have come up since that time.  I intended to till again yesterday but was surprised by a rain that came out of nowhere and put me out of business.  Our sandy soil drains fast, so if it doesn't rain today or tonight, perhaps I can get the tilling done tomorrow (but it probably will rain).  Tilling is such an easy job:  You just start the tiller and walk along behind it.  There's no pushing or pulling, and practically no effort at all except to keep it going straight ahead.  A child could do it.  OK, it would have to be a tall child, because you would need to be taller than the tiller

I drove posts beside my larger tomato plants this morning.  Cliff will have to bring the cages up from down by the ditch, then I'll put them over the plants and secure them to the posts.  When I told him I was going out to drive the posts, he asked if I wanted his help.  "Nope," I answered.  "You know we get in a fight every time we go to the tomato patch together."

He agreed.  So there will be no tomato wars this year.  If you wonder what I'm talking about, just click HERE.


  1. Sounds like you better be careful with the cow's latest antics. Those radishes are interesting for sure. Are they still crispy? Glad you called a truce and that this year the tomato wars are not happening.

  2. The best laid plans! I've planted my 4 tomato plants and put the cages around them. (the ones that Patt devised) One of them I connected with an unbent paper clip; I felt like McGyver. ;) Hope they grow well because I love tomatoes from the garden!

  3. I have 4 plants that have small tomatoes on them, I use the bought cages I'm hoping for some nice ones this year.

  4. oh, Im so excited to see pics from your garden. I can not grow a thing. Sounds like you've got those cows under control. "Wishing" you an enjoyable summer no tomato fights! lol

  5. I still don't have any tomatoes planted. Mud, mud!

  6. I think you just summed up for me why I am NOT into raising animals. ;) We didn't plant a garden last year for the first time in ages and aren't doing one this year either. No time for me to work in it and too often Pete feels too bad when the time is right to do certain things. We'll have to rely on friends' surplus.

  7. Your pickled radishes do sound interesting. I'd never heard of them before. Glad you like them. Too bad about the cow and the calves. It was a great plan. Hopefully no one will get injured, most of all you.

  8. Interesting about the cows! Good luck with the gardening! We do not do too well with the tomatoes for some reason - my guess is the soil. Anyway, ya'll have a good Sunday!

  9. I am trying my hand at some straw bale gardening this year. Just got them conditioned so can plant this week, but will wait for the end of the week, we have snow in the forecast tomorrow...UGH! Glad you have not gotten hurt with your cows on the kicker device. I so enjoy your blog :-)


I love comments!