Friday, May 27, 2016

Unlikely places

Well friends, as you read in the last post, there have been some big changes happening around here and it seems like everyone noticed.

Except for Bandit, he's still scratching his head about what everyone is talking about.

Among those who noticed also include my amazingly hard working husband who has had to pick up a little slack for me around the farm lately.

One night a few weeks ago, I hadn't been sleeping super great, and his phone rang at 3 in the morning. Nothing huge, just the robots calling. 

(Did you know the robots will call us if they have a problem milking cows during the night? Pretty neat huh?  Well mostly neat, not as much at 3 am but still better than having a lot of very angry cows when you arrive the next day.)

 Knowing that I had just fallen back to sleep, he quietly waited until I was snoozing soundly before tiptoeing out of bed. Turns out I am much like a whiny baby during the night.
Poor, sweet man.

I have been trying to do all I can still at the barn but it seems to get a little harder all the time.
I am very disgruntled to find out that I am, in fact, not super woman.

I did get some shiny new boots to help my feet. 
Did I say shiny? 
I meant used to be shiny.

So mostly I've resorted to hanging out with the little girls.

And watching after the new mamas.

Remember that little one I told you about before who lost her mama right around Christmas?
She's growing up to be quite the ham and really loves to show off.

I made a few new buds too.
2361 is still a little camera shy but we're working on it. 

When I'm not at the barn I've been out scoping out flowers and trying to figure out how to take care of my yard this year. Again would be a lot more handy if I could have found that super woman cape.
Oh well.

So I took some pictures of the ones in my moms flower beds :) 

Though a few beautiful sights just showed up without having to do anything.

The trees do have a few dead spots on the leaves from that late cold snap but seem to be recovering nonetheless.

This rhododendron at our house didn't bloom at all last year and I thought it had something wrong with it.
Turns out it just needed a year off.
I couldn't resist a bump photo with it.
This was also date night and I dried my hair with a blow dryer for the first time in a week.

I do have one beautiful Clematis vine in my garden.

A few weeks ago I noticed it had not stay attached to the arbor I have for it. Seeing that as a project I could easily do on my own I jumped in and rescued it from the ground where it was bound to get all tangled up with the weeds quickly surrounding it.

I was so proud of myself for fixing it, I snapped a few photos and happily went on my way. Perusing the yard and talking to "Tiny" telling her all about the yard work we will surely catch up on next spring.

Hmm, seems I forgot to tell her we should always check the "weeds" for poison ivy before sticking our hands into the mess.
I spent the next week complaining to every poor soul who crossed my path that you should really and truly do anything humanly possible to never, ever in your entire life get poison ivy.
And that if you get it when your pregnant, you will be the grouchiest and most unpleasant person that ever existed. 

So now you know too.

Poor Bandit, he had no escape route and finally just consoled me by laying in my fancy pregnancy pillow. 

We are still discussing who should get to use it from now on.

As usual with farm life, there have been a few "hairy days" there too.

(The robots use a brush to clean off the cows udder before milking.
There seems to have been some confusion here.
No worries, no machinery or cow tails were harmed in the mix up.)

And of course there are always a few late nights.

There has been a lot of field work to do.

And when it's not been raining, the guys have been hard at work planting corn and chopping alfalfa.

So really around here we've just been figuring out how to get things done in a new season of weather and of life. And it might look a little different this summer, but aren't the best things always hiding in the most unlikely places?

Except for poison ivy, it's hiding everywhere :) 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life, In Color

Wow, hello again friends! It seems we have some catching up to do. Where should I begin?
Let's just go right back to where we left off. 
Just after my last post, there was just lots of life going on and I decided to just live it and it didn't leave much time for sitting by the computer! 

Here's what we've been up to!

December was full of wonderful Christmas and family and picking out trees.

Of course there were lots of frosty mornings and cutie calves.

Winter slowly approached but in a just right kind of way.

A nice cup of hot coffee was just the ticket most mornings.

My two pet cows met for the first time.
I think they might have some jealousy issues.
We're working it out with lots of therapy.

The last few days of 2015 were absolutely beautiful allowing for some much needed quiet walks after the busy Christmas season.

I celebrated another birthday and even wore high heels.

On New Year's Eve I enjoyed a long walk with my sister at my parents farm.
I'm sure I'll remember it forever.

Just after the beginning of the New Year, winter arrived and made us all very lazy in the mornings and likely to be found in a cozy spot at any chance possible.

It allowed Bandit and Lola some serious snuggle time.
And yes, Lola is still alive after this photo.

Bandit is also alive despite his appearance during nap time.

The end of January we had a few snowstorms.

And really it was just very cold.
Like too cold. 
I survived with the help of hot hands and Under Armour.
And coffee.

February was much the same but the sun started to peek out every once in a while.

But for the most part I spent most of my time at the barn. 

Or taking care of the little silly girls at the calf barn.
This one was extra special since we lost her mama right after she was born. 
She got a lot of extra hugs and is growing up to be quite the pet. 

It warmed up a lot the first week of March which allowed for a great Sunday afternoon to unwind in the yard.

We even did a bit of spring cleaning!

Then we took another nap.

As the weather warmed up the first signs of new life started to pop up all around us.

And the calves born during the winter were growing up so quickly.
This is Judy. She likes to stick her tongue out at me :)

Louie loves to stay in his secret sunshine spot.

Oh and did I mention why I was taking all those naps??

With springtime we finally got to share our news that 
Baby Flory would be joining us late this summer.

In mid March we took a quick trip to California to film a dairy promotion video.

Even got to go to Orange County.
I felt fancy for a second.

But you know what they say,
You can take the girl out of the country but...

I was glad for a little time away with my partner in crime.

On the way home we stopped in Kansas City, MO for the DFA annual meeting.
I cried uncontrollably like a hormonal mess at the video they played at the start of each session.
Yes, apparently pregnancy does weird things to you.

After a week away, we sure were glad to see our green hills and the girls.

And spring had really arrived, bringing out all the beautiful blooming trees just in time for Easter weekend.

I may or may not have also cried after I looked back at this photo of my guys.
Does anyone have a kleenex?

The little one, whom we call "Tiny" for now was still pretty tiny around Easter.

But even very tiny babies, make for very tired feet sometimes.

The cows have been doing great, soaking up the sun and being lazy.

Except for Bunny. She enjoys trickery and making the humans work for her.
Ah, love her anyway.

Spring wouldn't have been complete without dealing with a little bit of...or maybe a lot a bit of...

Before we knew it the fields had turned into beautiful green and it was time to turn the heifers out to pasture.

I also miss no chance to take a bump photo.

At least I know someone around here will always be a bit rounder than me. 

Good thing we're in the business of making milk because I've been drinking a lot of it.
And a lot of Nesquick, who doesn't love Nesquick?

We did have a serious cold snap the beginning of April that was a little tough of the newly emerged leaves and alfalfa.

Ritz the barn cat ate a bird and felt terrible about it.
She confessed on her own.
But note the feather stuck to her head in case she had tried to lie.

The rest of April, beauty kept popping up everywhere.

And we found out we are having a baby girl!!

Bandit has been using all his stored up winter energy to dig holes in my flower bed.

And a few of the cows have been showing off their talents too.

The end of April we took a long weekend with friends in a sunny spot.

And enjoyed a nice evening drive with our buddy when we got home.

And just like that 6 months came and went. 
I have to be honest, there are so many stories I wish I could tell you with all these photos but sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day.

But if I did learn one thing from writing this post, it's that even though the individual days might not seem all that extraordinary, they all are. They all turn into weeks and months and eventually years. 
I really love quotes because they have a way of saying something I couldn't think of how to say.

So here's one for today. 

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser" - John Gardener

So friends that's all I have to share with you today. For every picture I posted there were 10 more I didn't. For the past 6 months I have been working on life. I might not have had time to write about it but I did make sure to capture it. 

 You see, there are a lot of things I didn't say about these pictures that felt a lot like my "picture" of life got some coffee spilled on it, or I drew outside of the lines.
Sometimes a tear or two hit the page, and not the hormonal kind.

You see really, at the end of 2015 I turned 27 and didn't know if I would ever be a mama.
And that walk on New years eve meant a lot more than just saying goodbye to another year.
And that calf I had petted a lot, well I petted her mama a lot too. It's hard to say goodbye sometimes, even to a cow.

And all those beautiful spring flowers? Well they felt as fragile as the little baby I was carrying.
Wondering every day if the frost was going to come and steal them away.

But life just kept happening and the leaves got greener and my belly got bigger.
And now I'm looking at my picture trying to figure out how to add in a few new colors.
But mostly pink :)

Check out the next post for an update on the Month of May!