Friday, March 13, 2009

What's Been Happening

We've finally been having nice weather and the snow is melting. I can sense the anticipation of another busy growing season.

A couple weeks ago the boys started tomato, onion and pepper seeds. I've been amazed at how quickly they germinated, and today Peter and Jonathan transplanted tomato seedlings into individual cell packs. We purchased our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and are very happy with the results so far.

Our wood pile shrunk quickly this winter, due to all the very cold weather we've experienced. It has been necessary to add to the pile of logs for our wood stove, so the past couple of afternoons Jim and the boys were out cutting up downed trees. Hopefully their efforts will keep our wood stove happy for the duration of what's left of winter.

Approximately three weeks ago we called a couple that lives in the area to see if they would artificially inseminate our Jersey heifer. It was a bit tough to tell if Sandy was in heat, but when she showed some of the signs we went ahead and had the procedure done. Apparently the timing wasn't correct or something didn't go as planned, as today the signs were undeniable that Sandy was once again in heat.

Jim called the couple once again, and tonight the procedure was performed on Sandy. My job was to heat extra water on the stove to 95 degrees; a bit tough to do when the thermometer was just about impossible to read! We really need to purchase a digital one, so bifocal impaired people like me can even read the numbers! By the time I had the water where I wanted it, the event was over and everyone was heading back to the house. Oh well, I viewed the procedure last time, and there really wasn't much to see. Hopefully this time it worked.

Last night someone called about 9:00, and while I was visiting on the phone it suddenly seemed as if a skunk had sprayed the house! I quickly cut short the conversation as the boys jumped out of bed and went running to the door. Jonathan grabbed the shotgun and a flashlight and headed outside.
I don't know exactly what happened, but JP, our big tomcat, had been sprayed at point blank range by a skunk! The poor cat was running around in a frenzy, trying desperately to shake the spray from his face. We didn't know if the skunk was right outside or not, but Jonathan and Jim went out to check. They didn't find anything and JP settled down a bit. The other cats were very curious, and one by one came up to him to take a whiff. I don't know why, but he chose to sit right by the side of the door.

We had an experience a few years ago when two of our cats ended up in the waste oil bucket and were soaked in oil. We were able to give our female cat a bath and got the bulk of the oil out of her hair, but when we tried to do the same with the male he tried to bite Peter and me, so we had to let him outside and fend for himself. It was amazing how quickly he was able to clean the mess from his own hair.

By morning JP smelled a whole lot better. I caught sight of one of the female cats licking his face, and felt a bit sick at the thought of what she was ingesting. Guess it worked for them!

There's never a dull moment around here!


Marci said...

Wow, you started seeds already. I feel so behind. :) Will you have a greenhouse to put them in, or will they go right in the ground?

I too would be grossed out by the cat licking the skunk smell off. YUCK!! We had a buck goat here for awhile. He kept escaping and went to be in with the cows. I would see our milk cow licking the top of his head. EEEWWWWWW>... GROSS!!!

Cheri said...

Had the same thing happen years ago - the house just filled with the smell of skunk. It was our german shepherd...she took a point blank hit. It was weeks before I could pet her....yuck!

Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Marci,
The transplants will go to our hoophouse before they go into the ground. We will keep it warm in there with an old barrel stove. Maybe tomorrow after things warm up we'll shovel out some of the snow in the hoophouse area and then get the plastic up so things can dry out in there.

We still have a buck goat -- and it's no fun to hang clothes near his pen when he is trying attract the attention of the does!

Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Cheri,
When I was growing up we had a dog that loved roaming with my brother. On one occasion they went to check our neighbor's trap line, and one particular trap had a still living skunk in it. Our dog raced over and was also hit at point blank range. I've never seen such blood red eyes in my life! I can't remember how much tomato product my Mom used to try to get that smell off the poor dog!

Anonymous said...

Hows life down on the farm Lynn? :)

I think by the end of the convention you will be ready to go your self next year and leave the boys home. Should be an interesting time for you. Or, maybe be a very peacefull time with just listening to the plants grow. Who is elected to stay home with you?

Gp B

Kelle said...

Your Jersey is beautiful. Our jersey is 18 yrs old and retired. We purchased an Irish dexter and heifer calf and milked her until she dried herself off. We had her AI'ed twice and she didn't take either time, so off to the bull in June. So we're without milk until April 2010. I miss yogurt and fresh cottage cheese the most.

We just started our main portion of our seeds this week, Congrats, your seedlings look great!

My Dh's family are in Lefor, ND and we have she's asking us to pick a date all the snow will be gone from the yards. ND got loads more snow then us in MT.

Love your blog, keep'em coming!