Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

Moooving week!!

Well, we almost finished all the fencing, but we were waiting for that silly dozer to be fixed.  STILL WAITING after 2 months.  Every time they thought they had it figured out, it would turn out that it was a different problem.  First, they thought it was a sensor.  Nope, didn’t fix the problem.  Then it was the relay switch.  Nope, didn’t fix the problem.  Then they brought the computer and it said that one of the lines was broken.  Nope, didn’t fix the problem.  So, by default it had to be the compressor for the air brakes.   It really didn’t help that every time they came to work on the dozer it was either brutally cold or it was raining.  They were rockstars to keep coming back for the weather to punish them again!

They came on a Wednesday to fix the compressor but something didn’t seem right to Mr. Dozer repair guy.  He hated to spend more of our money to replace an expensive part that he wasn’t convinced was the problem.  (Did I mention that the dozer repair guy got major brownie points in my book for that!  Yep, when he did come to fix the dozer I made sure to bring him snacks!  Lots and lots of yummy snacks every few hours!)  Anyway, Mr. Dozer Repair guy checked a few more things.  Nope, the compressor worked fine.  Whew!  I’m so glad he waited and didn’t replace that expensive part!  It turned out to be a coupling at the very bottom of the dozer that had broken and severed most but not all of the brakes lines and electrical lines.  Well, now that isn’t very nice, is it?  Nope.  Not nice at all, but it explained why the computer was getting mixed signals and couldn’t diagnose the problem.

The only way to actually fix the problem was to drag the dozer out of the woods, take all the “guts” out of the dozer, lift the engine our with a crane, fix the coupling and then replace everything.  That sounds complicated!  And more than a little expensive…. The silly little coupling that caused ALL these problems was only a $50 part.  Can you believe that??  The cost to fix all the damage done by that $50 part breaking….well, that coat is significantly greater.  (Whew, deep breath…and breathe….)  Mr. dozer repair man put us on the list and ordered the necessary parts to fix the pesky coupling.  Now we just had to have some good weather.  Excuse me while I take a moment to say a prayer.

Well, we had gotten enough fencing done that we thought we were ready to move.  Whoo-hoo!  It’s MOOOOVING TIME!!  Of course you know that week started with a bang.  Jim woke up with a stomach virus and couldn’t work Monday and Tuesday.  Well, Jim was planning to take off work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to get us moved.  Well, that didn’t happen.  He had to work on Wednesday and Thursday to make up for it.  Bummer.  Well, we still had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to move, right?  Sure, we can still do this!  Well, Maylin started vomiting Wednesday night.  Of course!  That’s just the Carter Crazy way, isn’t it?   Maylin was so pitiful and lifeless!!  While I was praying for a speedy recovery for her, I was also praying no one else got sick.  Well, thankfully Friday morning brought an end to Maylin’s vomiting, but she certainly wasn’t her chippery self.  We were able to get a load of stuff moved in the stock trailer before she was completely wore out.  Okay, we were all mostly wore out.  But we finished up hanging the gates for the pastures for the animals and headed home.

After getting the kids bedframes loaded into the stock trailer, the kiddos snuck in and decided to take a break.  They were pretending they were in jail.  Oh dear….It was rather warm and sunny that day.  Perfect moving weather.  Hopefully no one else will pick up the stomach bug and we can keep this momentum and nice weather going!  

Saturday morning was supposed to be raining.  Thankfully, the rain held off until almost lunchtime.  We were able to get another large load of stuff moved.  We were even able to sleep there Saturday night!  Well, sleeping is probably an exaggeration, but we went to bed there that night.  Everyone was either to wired or too tired to sleep.  Our first night in our new home!!!!

One big happy family in our new house!  Well, okay, Rocko is not so happy, but he will adjust in time.  About the time a big buck runs through the front yard and he is off chasing it, he will decide that this place is quite lovely and fun!

While Rocko may not be excited, Camden sure is!  He might not have battled the concrete floors that night but he has literally confronted them head on many times since….and lost each time.  That poor kid has had more goose eggs and bruises than I can count!  Maybe he will eventually learn to calm down in the house??? Maybe???

On Sunday morning, I got up and headed out to get my girls (the cow and the horse, not my kids!).   I hated leaving them the night before, but I knew I would be back early to get them.  I loaded up Desi and she arrived at her new home by 7:30 that morning.  She was quite happy with her new grassy pasture, but not so happy when I put the grazing muzzle on her about 20 minutes later.  Sorry, old girl!  Desi also wasn’t all that happy when I put her up in her shed to leave a few hours later to get Minnie-Moo, the diva.  Anything could happen now…

Minnie was a rock star!  She loaded right up and we were trucking on down the road before lunch.  You just never know if Minnie will be cooperative or not.  She likes to be in control and keep you on your toes.  Thankfully, she was extremely cooperative that morning and we were ready to take her to her new home.  Every time I looked in the mirror driving her home, I could see her nose sticking out of the trailer and sniffing the air.  She was so curious!!  When we got her home, I got out and talked to her and then went to open the gates to her new pasture.  While I walked through the field, Jim started driving the truck to her pasture.  When I looked up Minnie was gone.  I couldn’t see her head in trailer, and I thought she had escaped somehow.  How?  I hadn’t unlatched any of the gates!  She was just there!  Where did she go?  I had no idea.  But I almost panicked!  You have to understand that this cow is a jumper and an escape artist so I am ALWAYS expecting some kind of antics from her!  Honestly, I do love this cow, but Wow is she a handful!

I ran to the trailer calling Minnie’s name and mumbling stuff under my breath.  Yeah, I won’t repeat my thoughts at that moment….  When I looked in, she had laid down to chew her cud.  She looked at me like I had lost my mind.  Yeah, she gives me that look a lot actually.  She was so content in the trailer that I hated to make her get up to go into her pasture.  But, I did actually make her get up.  I was too excited to see what she thought about her new home!  I walked Minnie around for a while and showed her the fence lines.  She seemed fine and started eating.  She ate for about 10 minutes and then she cut loose.  She started kicking and bucking and really having a grand time.  She had been eating so calmly I wasn’t expecting her to get her tail up and try to run through the fence!!  But this is Minnie we are talking about, so I should have expected it!  With Minnie we always, ALWAYS, have to expect the unexpected.  When I saw Minnie head to the trees and straight for the fence I knew she wasn’t going to be able to stop in time.  She was so busy kicking and bucking and having a good ole time that she didn’t even see the fence…..until she hit it.  Then reality hit her.  And so did the electric shock of the fence!  I felt so bad for her, but I also wanted to strangle her at that moment.  Oh the joys of stubborn, crazy animals!!  I think Jim is onto something by not letting me pick any more animals….Yeah, he’s a pretty smart man!

Thankfully the fence loosened but it didn’t break so Minnie was trying to back out of it while getting shocked every other second.  She was pitiful!!!  She ran back to her shed and kept snorting and mooing at me.  For the next several hours I had to stay within sight of Minnie or she would start bellowing and running back and forth until I appeared and calmed her down.  So, for several hours I was her favorite thing on earth!  I didn’t even offend her in any way that afternoon!  She just wanted me to be close to her.  Awww, she does love me after all!!  And I love my cute, little Minnie-Moo.  So, of course, dear Minnie, I will stay with you, scratch your throat and sing to you all afternoon.  To say that Minnnie was a little spooked by the whole experience would be accurate.  However, by night time she had thankfully settled more and was quite happy again.  She could see our house and she seemed fine when I went inside.  I did keep getting up that night and checking on her every few hours just to make sure she hadn’t gone “wild” again in her exuberance (or craziness!).

It’s so nice to look out and see my girls eating happily in their new home.

We got Spunky home that night as well.  She fussed and clucked at us the entire next day.  Ungrateful, feathered creature… She wouldn’t even come out of her coop for me to get her picture.  Oh well.  

On Thursday, the dozer guy surprised us and showed up to fix the dozer.  Man was that a job!  However, Mel is a brilliant heavy equipment mechanic.  Absolutely brilliant!!

The dozer before he pulled the engine out. 

Mel had done a lot of prep work and taken off practically everything that was connected to the engine.  I’m so glad I’m not the one putting all that back together!  

He literally took the entire inside of the dozer apart and then put it back together in less than a day and a half.  Wow!  I don’t have pictures of the engine out of the dozer, because it all happened too fast.  I left for a few hours thinking I would have plenty of time to take pictures when I got back.  Nope, that man is like The Flash with his mad dozer repair skills.  By the time, I got back he had most of it done!  Jeez, that’s impressive!  You could give me the rest of my life as well as a degree in heavy engine repair, but I doubt I could get that dozer back together in a way that would run at all!

Of course, since the dozer was fixed, Jim had to try it out!  The very next day he moved the downed trees out of the pastures and burned a few brush piles, because it was supposed to rain again.  It rains every few days lately.  At least we did get a few days to dry out and enjoy the sunshine before the monsoons hit again.

Wow, what a week!  We’ve moved ourselves, our animals, and got the dozer fixed.  Yeah!!  Here’s to a lifetime of adventures at Antler Valley Farm!  Whoo-hoo!!!

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