Category Archives: Farm Friends

Save a horse, ride a hound dog.

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I had hoped to report to you that wrestling a Coonhound that is twice your size does- in fact- induce labor but it has been nearly 16 hrs since the event and I’m still with child. Or at least I was when I wrote this post. None-the-less, you might enjoy my adventure.

Why, might I ask, do these things ALWAYS happen when I’m very pregnant?

Here she is, “hiding” before her home surgery. Poor girl, really thinks I can’t see her. Insert the dopiest voice you can conjure up, “If I don’t look du’ humans in the eye they’ll never find me.”

I spotted her limping and discovered a small bone or quill stuck out from the pad of one of her toes. I grabbed a pair of tweezers and two strapping–er’ I mean scrawny little boys–to help me. I had Scarfunkle and Captain Obvious each hold a leg while I sat on the third leg (10 mo pregnant, mind you) and grasped the offending foot.

One little tweeze and that big ol’ hound was bucking and twisting. She sent Captain flying one direction and Scarfunkle plopped down the other, while I hung on for dear life. “Just…let…me…HOLD STILL WILLAMINA!” Then, just like those strange water wiggler toys grandma had at her house when I was a kid, that loose skinned hound slipped out from under me and I too took a ride. The three of us lay on the floor and Willamina hurried back to her “hiding” place. After several attempts we realized weren’t going to be able to do a darn thing so I sent her back out to wait for Matt. I hoped the snow would numb it some and keep any swelling down.

Of course I forgot all about it until we’d loaded the kids in the car to head to evening church. Matt went to put the dogs in their kennel and suddenly my memory jarred. Oops! Upon inspection we knew it couldn’t wait. The swelling had begun and the foreign object was now flush with the pad of her foot.

Hubby got the needle nose pliers. I got the scissors and tweezers. Scarfunkle grabbed a bag of ice and Captain Obvious tried to subdue the other restless Thinglets buckled in their car seats.

Surgery began and oh boy did she protest.

We sent Scarfunkle out to the car with a message, “Pray boys, pray!”

Let me tell you, there ain’t no more offensive odor than a stressed out hound dog! She excreted her stench and whimpered when Matt sat on her head. One hundred sixty + lbs of dog is something to be reckoned with especially one as wimpy as she is! She wanted nothing to do with our toe saving adventure and she let us know it. I sat on the rear half of her while Matt restrained the front half and I went to work.

Ten minutes on ice gave me just barely enough numb to cut around the thorn or bone or whatever it was. The prayers of three little boys were answered when in one tug I was able to get the darn thing out. It was a good inch long and stuck straight in. Poor girl!

Poor us!

We needed a bath. No time for that. I feel sorry for the people who sat next to us in church. Even a change of clothes and three or four hand washings couldn’t eliminate the stench she let off. Gotta love a hound dog!


Filed under Farm Friends, Random, Reality, Ruse, True Tales

My daughter’s in a chicken suit!

Gotta love a two year old who wants to dress herself.

Today she chose a very unconventional coat–a chicken suit. But there wasn’t any convincing her otherwise.

Daddy said it’s all good, it goes well with our tarp “barn”.


Filed under Farm Friends, Motherhood Uncensored, Thru the Lens

Cooped up with the chickens.

Captain Obvious had a chicken farming mishap the other day.  He somehow got in the coop but couldn’t get out. I wondered what was taking him so long. I don’t know how long he stood like this before I looked out the kitchen window! “Oops, what’s he doing looking all forlorn?”

Dad to the rescue! And next time, take a shovel. 🙂

poor guy…

really mom?

well, at least he got the eggs

Smile Captain you survived…


Filed under Farm Friends, Thru the Lens

Yes I really took pictures of my chicken’s bum

…and it was all because of you! I wanted to share something I learned about raising chicks.

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Grose huh? I know, I’m terrible.

Maybe you already know this but I was recently reminded that it is important to clean the poo goo off their bums so they don’t get stopped up or those little chickens might die on ya.

I usually do have some losses with day olds but this is just one way to minimize it. Use a damp paper towel and gently “melt” away the gunk. The farm I ordered from told me that the stress causes the chicks poo to thicken and stick. Once they settle down it should become less sticky.

Another thing I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) is that for the first couple days to reduce stress related losses you can feed them boiled and crushed up eggs. I stirred in a little chick starter and put it out twice the first day. My chicks were crazy for it!

The lady who told me about this reminded me that when the chicks hatch they eat the egg whites and that’s where they get the protein to rest for 72 hrs. Giving them hard boiled eggs just boosts the protein intake.

So, there you have it. Chicken bums and protein boost. 🙂

Does anyone have some fun chicken breeds? I will post pictures of my mixed flock of chickens soon!


Filed under Farm Friends

Women & Vehicle Maintenance

A thought came to me the other day as I was describing to a twenty something “kid” (haha) how to adjust the carburetor on his vehicle.  How many of my women friends could benefit from a crash course (no pun intended) in vehicle maintenance and possibly other more complicated repairs.

This year, my mom and a dear friend of mine have both found themselves in the position where the things their husbands once did are no longer possible.  In my mom’s case my dad is still able to do many things but is likely to loose that ability due to Alzheimer’s.  My friends husband had a stroke.  What would you do if your husband were not able to perform the menial tasks he takes responsibility for?

Vehicle maintenance is just one area where I believe women need to “get a little education”!  Plus, I think it’s fun to work on cars.  Crazy, I know.

Answer this poll then leave a comment with your vehicles year, make and model along with any other things you would like to know.  If there is enough interest I will write a series of DIY’s just for you, my bloggy and IRL friends.


Filed under Farm Friends

Horse Helpers

For those who can’t handle the icky pictures, here is a picture of the Thinglets getting Hayley out for her eye treatment.  If you want more on that subject and the grose pictures check out this post.


Filed under Farm Friends, Thru the Lens

Why there is applesauce on my ceiling & horse opthalmics

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Yesterday I had what seems to be my annual rendezvous with my vet.  And no, I don’t mean a tussle in the hay, it just means “regular meeting place”.  Precisely; my house, Christmas time, every year to fork over a Ben Frank or two to stitch, medicate, wrap or doctor a horse.

I’ve got this huge plastic syringe for squirting Bute (horse aspirin) into the horses mouth.  The tube is the thickness of a mans thumb and it has a plunger on the end to hold in the medicine.  If you’ve got kids you’ve seen a small version.   So I had this great idea to put applesauce into it with the medicine.  Not just any applesauce.  No, no! I had to use home made chunky applesauce (it’s all I had, really).  Interestingly chunky applesauce doesn’t squirt easily and while attempting to push the air gently out of the syringe that gooey apple gunk popped loose inside the medicine tube and squirted my cheek then flew 12 feet in the air to decorate my ceiling.

Fun fun!  Who’se gonna clean that up I wonder?

My vet cracks me up.  Our phone conversation went as follows.

ME: “Nicole, this is Jessie up on the hill.”

VET: “Hey Jess, how’s it goin?”

ME: “Oh pretty good, only I’m dealing with a poked eye today.”

VET: “Don’t tell me it’s one of the children. I only doctor animals you know.”

ME: “Hahaha!  I can’t believe you had to ask, but no, its that little pony.”

VET: “Ah ha, well you’d be surprised what kinds of calls I get.”

ME:  “Really?  Well I guess that’s the sort of redneck thing I’d do.  No not really!”  Nervous chuckle!

VET: “Well, what’s going on with her?”

ME: “I don’t know when it happened but she appears to have poked her eye. I’m not sure but she may be blind, it is gray and cloudy.  My son came running in and said ‘Mom there’s green blood coming from Hayley’s eye.'”

VET:  “Well, the mucus could be trying to rid the eye of a foreign object. Let me come out and take a look.  We’ll have to sedate her and dye the eye to check for any scratch or tear.”

ME: “Okay I’ll see you in a bit.  This is becoming a regular occurence.  What has it been?  Three years in a row!”

VET:  “Seems like it. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”


The next pictures are icky.

The first one is her swollen eye with green mucus excreting.

This is how Thing One found her…

Once she was sedated we could see into her eye but didn’t need any dye to see that the cornea is sliced and scraped.  Her cornea is approximately 1/2 the appropriate thickness.  I have no idea how she did it.  The vet maintains that horses are suicidal.  It was dark while she was out but after antibiotic ointment and Bute, Hayley is feeling better.   Here are pictures of the actual corneal laceration.

We are in for a long healing process.  I’m praying she continues to allow me to manually medicate.  If not Nicole will be inserting a tube that allows me to medicate without touching her eye.  If we have to go that route she will be out, yet again to sedate and insert the contraption.  Can you see me in the eye?

Poor girl, she is really hurting!  All three boys prayed for her last night.  Judging from the look on Nicole’s face she is going to need it.  There is still a strong likelihood that it will become infected or rupture.  At this moment in time she can still see out of it despite my initial concern.  Hopefully it stays that way.

Antibiotic ointment three times a day.  Good thing I’ve got a couple of great helpers!


Filed under Farm Friends

FAB Friday – Hog Haulin’

Fab as in Fu-get ABout it!

Fab in the “Fabulous I’m getting another cup of coffee before I tie myself to a rocket headed for the moon” kind of Friday.  Is there anyone out there that can relate? 

Read the first F.A.B. Friday post here.

big pig

All I’ve got to say today is it’s hog haulin’ day! 

big pig ramp

Poor little guys are off to meet their doom. 

big pig daddy 

Bacon and Steak – the Thinglets named them – you’ve eaten your last apple. 

big pigs

You’ve sung your lase soo-eee! 

big pig in

Poor Hubby, he said this is the “Hillbilliest” thing I’ve gotten him into yet.  You may remember the pig debate that started this whole thing.

Enjoy your Friday and we may as well just agree to forget where our breakfast comes from.




Filed under FAB Friday Carnval, Farm Friends

This little piggies girlie!

piggieI’m a pig farmer now and Pee Wee is a girlie girl!

About the pigs…

I’ve had the wheels turning in my head about raising hogs for a few years now.  Last year I darn near got a couple to raise but wasn’t able to contact a farmer before the 4-H kids had the whole northern territory spoken for; pink, white, black, green… ha… they were gone like the wind before hooves even hit the ground.

This year I knew better and I contacted a farmer (best friend of my cousins husband) shortly after December, still he put me off long enough that I thought I’d been forgotten among the clovers but just Thursday I got the call.  “Jessie, it’s Ian, awh hay-uv yer howgs!”

“You’ve got WHAT?” I ghasped, I didn’t set up the pen or plan to get feed.  I hadn’t recently prepped my husband as such things require a fair bit of prepping.  He breaks out in hives and just about has a self induced anaphalactic meltdown whenever we have to spend any unexpected money.

Okay, so he is really not THAT bad and I am a pretty sorry tight wad myself but spending a couple hundred dollars on another of my “pets” (no I’m not going to tame them and walk them on leashes to market) gets the eyebrows in a bit of a furrow.  When I spring things on him he often bucks and then I humbly submit and we live happily ever after. 😉

The truth?  I throw big fat baby fits and we have heated debate, I plead my case, he pleads his and over closing remarks we realize somehow we ARE speaking the same language, fighting for the same right cause only coming at it from completely different angles.  Still dizzy from my tail spin I get a glimpse of his purpose and realize, he is fighting FOR me not AGAINST me and then we start to make sense.

Besides, what good would a couple 50lb pigs be if we couldn’t get groceries for the week.  To market to market to SELL a SCRAWNY pig!?

The outcome of our friendly debate!
The outcome of our friendly debate!

Well, after calling a truce we talked about it like civilized people and in the end we both agreed that it is worth the investment and wasn’t really the last minute thing it seemed to be on Thursday.  Although it begs the question are we “civilized people” if we raise hogs?  What is “civilized” anyway?  Tea and crumpets, cocktails and croquet or simply all those folks with running water and a roof over their head trying to make a living and livelihood as “aliens in the land”.  Actually running water may not always be a necessity, but that’s a different story and we aren’t talking necessity are we!?

Speaking of being civilized my other revelation for the day is that my little Pee Wee is becoming quite a girlie girl! 

It was bound to happen, the fourth of three boys and a tomboy mommy whose least favorite color is pink.  Although I do own two very pink shirts to wear with my cute camo capri’s.  I like to dress up and go on the town just like any girl but my idea of dress up is more like cute jeans, dangly earrings and a walk on the board walk followed by frilly coffee while we check out the classic cars parked at a local diner.  Or of course there’s always desert and swing dancing, or line dancing if I’ve downed enough coffee!  Town to me is home where you know everyone and most things stay the same.  I’m an idealist and I like the way “nostalgia” rolls off the tongue.

My Girlie

Pee Wee is already beginning to turn that all around.  I even found myself day dreaming about shopping with her.  SHOPPING!  I don’t SHOP and pick out cute clothes or cute decorations for entertaining.  Sigh, I’d rather be getting dirty.

She also has decided she really likes chap stick.  The girl is 9mo old and every time she gets a glimpse of someones chap stick she reaches and makes a little grunt sound.  I’m sure that has something to do with the taste but even a sweet tooth proves my point doesn’t it?  What girl isn’t a fan of chocolate and strawberries?  That was truly all I craved when I was pregnant with her?  Coincidence, happenstance?  I think NOT!

Want to know what I craved with the boys?

The one thing I had never liked before.

The one thing that made me shudder at the though of it.

The thing with the most disgusting texture.

The very thing that now, after craving it through three, boy pregnancies I LOVE!


I also discovered this week that she is fascinated with getting her hair brushed.  She has no hair but still, she loves to have the fuzz clinging to her little noggin brushed and brushed and brushed.  I’ve known for a while that she likes hair because one of the ways she self soothes is by winding my hair in her fingers or gently pulling at the little patch of hair on the back of her neck that didn’t get rubbed off in the “bald spot” stage so it is longer than the rest.  If you can picture it you might be thinking Joe Dirt!  Yes, my little girl has a mini mullet.  Ack!  I couldn’t cut it, she loves that “tail”!

Furthermore my little Pee Wee has no problem whatsoever allowing anyone and everyone to dote on her.  She has quite dexterous little fingers yet half the time if you try to hand her a piece of cereal she will hold up her hands and lean in while batting her feathery eyelashes and parting her pink little lips, “feed me!”

She loves nothing more than to be held and totted around and she lives for favors from her brothers.  That little girl has three small boys one big boy and a smitten mamma wrapped around two little fingers and that’s just in OUR household! 

Oh dear!  Not my daughter!?  I was going to have four boys!

Thank you Lord for you know best, I would have never guess how fun it is to have a little girl!


Filed under Farm Friends