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January 9th, 2017

January 9th, 2018 Comments off

Today we woke up to – the Woodcrest Flu Farm.  Willa is sick.  Dan and Kent are sick .  Chris, Noah, and I are getting sick.  But, we are the only ones left standing, so we dragged ourselves out and got morning chores done, after which I ate breakfast, retreated to my chair, grabbed a blanket, and nursed my incipient fever, and went to sleep.  Tylenol picked me up enough to do a hay run and do evening milking with Chris.  Hopefully tomorrow will be more normal.

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Thursday, Dec. 29th 2017

December 29th, 2017 Comments off

Today at Woodcrest started like most days – a bunch of cows to milk, and we got right to it before we froze to death.  The weather took a dip into the freezer so it motivated us to get the chores done quickly.  Once chores and breakfast were done, Jason and I tackled the abandoned cars at East.  The Nissan was still loaded from yesterday’s futile trip to the transmission shop (my confusion, I guess) so all we had to do was get a new battery for it and transport it.  That done, we managed to load the Blazer onto the trailer, find a scrap yard, transport it, and unload it.  Easier said than done, but both vehicles are off the premises.  Now I just have to resolve the Nissan repair, title, and disposition, but at least its underway.

After milking tonight, Jas, Susanne, Chris, and I went to dinner at Applebees.  Food OK, not great, but a nice relaxing time with people we love.  And that’s the word from Woodcrest.

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Tuesday, Dec. 26th, 2017

December 28th, 2017 Comments off

The 2d day of Christmas my true love gave to me …. well, not two turtle doves.  We dragged ourselves out of bed at 8, milked the cows, and got the chores done.  ate breakfast, and so forth.  Jason and Susan came over and we got down to the real business of the day – hanging out.  Noah and I split some wood, milked again at 5:00, and had a good dinner with Diane.

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Thursday, December 21st, 2017

December 21st, 2017 Comments off

Today was a special day because Willa was here with Grandma and Grandpa all day.  She helped me feed the cows during milking, helped Grandma label milk by pasting the date stickers on the jars, helped Daddy feed the dogs.  As for me, I gave Noah an introduction to milking the new mothers Freddie and Lulu.  Freddie has severe edema (still) and is a little touchy. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  We are slowly tying up Christmas loose ends and getting ready to say good-bye to Dan, Liza, and Willa who are going to be going north to Ben and Julie’s.   God bless us, every one.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 19th, 2017 Comments off

It was  kind of an exciting Tuesday here at Woodcrest.  I was still arranging for coffee in the house when Kent walked in to ask when  Lulu had calved.  I thought he was confused – Freddie had a calf on Saturday, and I thought he was talking about her.  But he was right – Lulu had a little heifer early this morning.   New calves mean several days of swollen udders, collecting colostrum, antsy cows, and frequent milkings.  We are into it in spades.   Freddie’s udder is so swollen she resists milking (read: tries to kick the milker, me), but her only relief is to get milked, completely, at least twice a day.  Oh and yes, we separate the calves from their moms as early as possible.  As heartless as this sounds, its much better for both cow and calf if we are making sure the cow gets milked completely, and the calf gets a full ration.  Less chance for mastitis, infections, and uneven nursing, less chance for the calf to get attached to the mom and resist learning to use a bottle, and bottle-fed calves are much friendlier their whole lives.  But it makes for a long day.

Other doings: Dan spent time in the forge, Grandma and Willa made cookies, and I was getting an evaluation for cataract surgery in January.  So, a busy, good day.

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Saturday, 12/16/2017

December 16th, 2017 Comments off

Today was a good day at Woodcrest.  We milked cows, fed pigs, chickens, rabbits, and goats, and kept the farm safe.  We held a birthday party for Anna Lou Wesley(?), where the kids had a great time and actually made some blacksmithing items.  The cows gave over 3 gallons this evening.

But today will stay in my memory as the day we said Goodbye to Patrick.  He has become a member of our family, and realistically, I will probably never see him again in this life.  It was still a good day, a day where love won, and lives moved ahead in God’s plan, and children had a party.  But I will miss Patrick forever.

 

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Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

November 10th, 2015 Comments off

It’s been a tough day so far first it’s raining again first its raining again second the cow is in the pasture knocked over the beehive and the beehive was honest on that side lying in the grass thirdly cows seem to be eating a lot probably because they were hungry for that was Julius first a flying solo on the milk in the kitchen but we managed to get through all of it get all the cow’s milk and the Beehive sit back up on its stand and now it’s time for breakfast  Goats all offline now.

I spent the afternoon blacksmithing for the craft fair until Dr. Reading showed up to look at our cast steer and preg check Starshine.  The news on the steer was bad – some sort of spinal injury, with a poor prognosis for recovery.  If he doesn’t recover we will have to put him down and either butcher him or dispose of him.  Its a question of how long we wait, and we probably don’t have that long.

Michelle has to leave tomorrow.  We will miss her.

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Monday, Sept. 14th, 2015

September 14th, 2015 Comments off

Africa! Africa! Africa! Africa!  This will be my last post from the farm for awhile.  For the next 3 week+, Chris and I will be in Kenya and Uganda as animal care missionaries, and then to Tanzania to see some of God’s wonders in mankind’s first home.  In the meantime, the farm will be under the care of Beth, Darci, Stephen, and Casey.   I may or may not have internet access so as to keep the blog updated, but obviously, I won’t be on hand to know much of the daily goings on.  I may use this space to journal our African experience – after all, it is an outgrowth of our life here caring for animals and the people we love.

Since my last post Heidi finally had her calf, so all of our cows are back on line.   We carried all the hogs up to Piedmont Custom Meats last Wednesday and will get them back in delicious pork cuts this coming week.  We made some progress with the pastures at East.  Today Stephen and I finished up what we hope will be the last critical repairs to our ancient seeder, which he will use this week to seed in fescue, clover, and oats for next spring.  Getting a pasture established takes a commitment, work, and money.   We have had several tours as a result of Casey’s marketing effort, and hope to see more happening.  Beth has started her Fall CSA’s and the veggies are looking delicious.  Everything is in good shape except for our poultry – the hens are being lazy about egg production. We could sell twice as many eggs as we have.

Chris and are nervous about going off and leaving the farm, to say the least, especially since our trip is sort of a do-it-yourself effort we put together with the help of friends.  We have good reason to worry about all the things we DON’T know about the countries we are visiting, but are trusting that this journey is God’s adventure for us in this season of our life.  We celebrated our 5oth wedding anniversary on Sept. 4th, and it has been quite a life together.  So, with God’s blessing, tomorrow we will be off, returning on Oct. 9th.  For today, I will Say Africa!

 

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Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

August 31st, 2015 Comments off

On this last day of August, we started milking at 8:00 as usual, with Darci in the kitchen and me (Allan) with our 5 lady cows.  Heidi will be on maternity leave starting today.  She is officially due in 2 weeks, but may already be producing colostrum, which may mean that she is farther along than we thought.  So, she is out of the line-up.  Fortunately, Tyra, Sunshine, and Starshine are holding the fort, and Fiona will be back to work soon.

We held a planning meeting this morning – there is sure a lot to do!  It rained last night, and was still spritzing today.  In general, Darci spent her day doing chores around home, and the rest of us worked up at East picking up rocks and harrowing the west pasture in preparation for seeding tomorrow.  We have about 1/2 done, and will probably try to get that much seeded while the ground is still a little wet.

That’s mainly the story for Woodcrest Farm today.

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Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015

August 27th, 2015 Comments off

Darci and I zipped through morning milking this AM helped by JoEtta (Brett’s Mom) and Jaryn until school intervened.  Uneventful, which we are always happy about, except that Jaryn forgot that cows are large and oblivious to what they might be stepping on, and Starshine tromped on  her foot.  Unfortunately she wasn’t wearing her steel-toed sandals, but thankfully she wasn’t injured – just a little bruised in foot and spirit, mostly that Starshine could be so inconsiderate when she (Jaryn) had been very faithful to keeping tasty grain in her feed dish.

The rest of the day was a mixture of chores and projects for everyone.  Chris and the livestock team closed in on our reseeding plan, to wit: we are going to pick up rocks in the west pasture, then move the cows back to the east pasture, harrow and seed the west pasture it with our millet, then confine the cows to the sacrifice area and do the same thing to the east pasture.  I think.  This afternoon Chris, Darci, and I started the pick-up and got quite a bit done.  We had both tractors on the job, the JD for for sticks and Big Orange for rocks.  Chris got her tractor badge renewed.

There is probably a lot more to record, but its time for bed, so that’s today at Woodcrest Farm.

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