Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I would like to introduce my partners in crime

Cherie is my sister out law.  She is the widow Milligan, married to my husbands middle brother, Steve who we lost a few years back.  However we did decide to keep his wife.  Hey, she works like a borrowed mule.  We usually try to be nice and feed her on the weekends between jobs like shoveling sand and mulch.

Jeana, with her sun scorched face, is a friend's daughter, but I claim her as my niece.  She is staying here and helping me run the place.  She is my friend, my kids nanny, and kitchen girl, but her hands seem to fit a shovel handle just fine, too.

Seriously, these two girls work hard to make me look good.  I get a ton done, but all because they are here helping me out all the time.  Thank you Cherie and Jeana!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I thought I would get a picture of one of our flower beds while the sun is actually shining!!

We just got a new fancy camera, so I tried doing a couple of those close up flowers shots.  I think this one is my favorite.  Here are a couple more, just because flowers and sunshine are so beautiful.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Now I Know!!!!

I got Sadie her lovely Old English Sheep Dog just before the dog, Sarah turned one.  I had this great idea that I would turn her into an assist dog for Sadie.  For some reason I just kept pushing that plan on the back burner.  Last week I decided I needed to get it going.  I showed up at the trainers and looking at Sarah's papers realized that she is turning 4 in a couple days!  Way to put things off a bit, Cindy.

Then we started our one on one class.  We had an out of control dog and an out of control kid both running and pulling on each other with absolutely no intent to listen to me or the trainer.  Now I know why I was dragging my feet!

What a great trainer, by the end of our 30 minute class she had us all on track.  I have got my work cut out for me, but now that I started, I am sticking with it to the end.  I will keep you all posted as to how we do.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great Milk

Wow, I am just pumped about the farm.  We just got our latest milk quality test in the mail and it looks great!Our Somatic Cell Count is down at 130,000, our bacteria is only 2,000, and our P.I. is only 3,000.  When you consider the limits on those are 400,000, 50,000, and 50,000 you can see that we are well below that. 

My role in this is that I am willing to pay for the sand to keep those stalls clean, and pay for high quality minerals to keep the girls healthy. 

The biggest thing I do to get these test numbers is pay my employees the bonus I get for great milk.  It really makes some of them put forth a lot of effort.  I do say "some".  Some employees still think showing up is all it takes to be valuable.  At one time, that did mean a lot on this farm, but we have such a good crew now, it takes more than showing up to shine like a star here.  I think it might be time to also hand out some pay raises to those I see really trying hard.

Monday, May 16, 2011

While time was flying by....

I have been crazy busy the past few weeks, and I am so glad to see that end!  What have I been doing?

  Well, my in-laws are a big part of our life and last year I was really busy with Janet, my mother in law, and this year it has been Lauren, my father in law.  I have had many doctor appointments getting him prepped to be on dialysis.  I set up in home health care to make everyones life easier.  Those girls keep the house clean, cook meals, make sure meds are taken, and do some of the running.  I am really an advocate for long term health care insurance right now.  It took 2 months for my inlaws to completely recoup all 15 years of premiums they had paid in.  I am so glad they paid that insurance.  Taking care of your elderly is very time consuming and expensive.

I also took in two 20 year olds.  They arte fairly high maintenance creatures ( I am refering to the age in general).  They are both great kids. 

Daniel is an Amish kid I have known for 10 years or so.  I am very close to his parents and brothers, that makes letting him live here tricky.  They want him back, and I don't want any part of keeping him away, but it seems he is going to stay English (thier term for all us non-Amish) for awhile at least.  Like all religious groups, his church is experiencing bumpy roads right now.  I have helped him get a job and get his drivers lisence.  I would like to say that you should all teach young people about driving before they are adults!  He is doing good, but wow is that scarey stuff.

Then their is Jeana, another kid I have known forever.  I have brought her here after some bad choices were made and she needed to get herself back on track.  Words of encouragement can be the best thing you ever do for a young person.  Telling a kid what they are not good at, or what they might fail at is just so damaging to them.  Bear in mind, I am known to be tough on kids, but it can be done without draging them through the mud.  You set rules, let it be known that you don't flex, and tell them you know they can do it, and most the time they will.

Along with these 2 success stories, I should mention, for those who don't know me, that this is not my first rodeo.  I have always had some extra kid living with us.  Some have really prospered and done great things, some have stumbled away with tucked tails, but all of them still call me and know that no matter where they land in life, I will always have love for them.  I know for some of them, just having an adult to call for encouragement is what they need.

As soon as I had Lauren and the kids lifes' on track, my husband put me to work in the fields!  We got over 240 acres of corn planted in 8 days.  That is really kicking it out with our little 6 row planter.  And just in the nick of time, the rain showed up for the next 4 days.

So now I am home getting my house back in order and hoping for warm weather.  It would be great to see a few days of sunshine!