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Nothing like November

I love November.  Love, love, love it!

November usually involves cool mornings and warm-ish days.  The leaves are changing.  Maylin has a birthday, which she loves and I struggle with her getting a year older-every year.  And then Thanksgiving is upon us.  What’s not to love, right?  Right.  November is awesome!!

I always think of November as the calm before the storm of Christmas though.  Well, this year the storm swallowed up November along with December.  Life just keeps getting crazier and busier every year.   AHHHH!!

Anyway, here is a recap of our whirlwind November.

Everything started out lazy and great.  As you can see Jessie Wrinkles and Jethro Flash were loving the relaxing, lazy days.  I love these hounds and all their shenanigans.

The cows were relaxed and happy as well.  We were all relaxed and happy and enjoying the pleasant weather.  Life was good.  And quiet….

Our cute little Rosie is growing up.  I desperately want to hug and kiss on her but she has made it clear that she is not that type of cow.  Nope.  She only allows a quick scratch on her head and then she retreats.  You’re killing me cow!  How can I look at that cuteness every day and not love on her?!?  That’s just how it must be.   (Big sigh…)

At school, they started the month of November with Wacky Tacky day which the kids thought was hilarious.  I must admit that I laughed pretty hard too!

These guys were so cute and tacky!!  I love that they want to participate in all the school’s activities.  It makes my Mom heart happy to see them loving school.

We finally finished the tack room and got the door in place.  And locked.  It always stays locked now to hopefully prevent more thefts.  We also bought several trail cameras and a security system for the barn that we are still waiting to come in.  At least I sleep better at night knowing that we are doing everything we can to keep our stuff safe.

The only thing that is missing now is a protective coat of polyurethane on the walls.  I’m sure that I can fit that into my schedule tomorrow…or the next day…?????

My lovely new door!  Oh, and it needs to be painted….I’ll just add that to my to do list also….No, problem.

I did find some textured floor paint that I liked and was able to put 2 coats on the floor.  The rest will have to wait until I get out of the air-cast and can climb a ladder again.  Ya know, I’m so patient.  So, that shouldn’t be a problem.  HA HA!!

I thought Daisy was getting close to calving so we made sure that we had a milking stall waiting for her.  Well, it was almost ready.  I couldn’t bring myself to hang that bent gate so we had to wait for another day to get that project finished.  Dear Minnie-Moo bent that gate one day when she was in heat a few years ago.  That cow is such a trouble-maker.  It’s a good thing I love her!

Ta-da!  We finally have a stall ready for Daisy and her baby.

Camden wasn’t that photogenic the day we worked at the barn.  He said he was a bat.  Okay, we’ll go with that, son.

Okay, thankfully the bat stage is over.  Camden is back to being his playful, happy self.  He built a volcano and then put a fortress around it.  It looked pretty cool.

Maylin made a small volcano  on the scrap wood pile.  These guys are rock stars when we have work to do!

Well, November is always Maylin’s birthday month.  It’s hard to believe that she turned 9 this year!!  I really need time to slow down. Like slow way, way down.  I’m afraid I’m going to blink and these kiddos are going to be grown already!  NOOOOO!!!

She was just a sweet little baby yesterday.

And today she somehow turned 9.  A very happy 9.

I can’t say enough good things about this little beauty.  She is so creative, smart, funny, adventurous, brave, energetic, enthusiastic, kind, generous, loving, protective – I could go on all day about how special Maylin is.  She is truly one of a kind and I am proud every minute of the day to call her my daughter.  Excuse me while I find my tissues again…

Last year we had a unicorn party, but this year she wanted to go with a shark party.  That is typical Maylin.  She is always keeping it real.  She is fascinated with dinosaurs and sharks right now and doesn’t really care if that’s a “cool” thing or not.  I love that about her!  So, a shark party it was.  And a pretty cool one too!

Oh my, does she remind me of Jim in this picture!

Have I mentioned that Maylin can’t hide her emotions?  How she is feeling is usually written all over her face.  And when she smiles she lights up the whole room.  I love seeing her beautiful smile.  It makes my day so much brighter.  And let’s not forgot Maleah and her quizzical face in the background.  Huh?

Fun times with the birthday girl.

Did I mention that she is brave and adventurous?  Yep, that’s my girl.  She’s kinda fearless.

So, in the middle of November I was still in the air cast and patiently counting down the days until I could throw it in the back of my closet and never see it again.  Ha!  Well, my appointment was on a Wednesday and wouldn’t you know that Daisy had her calf early on Tuesday morning?  Of course, she did!  That made for some interesting times trekking down across the creek to check on them.

This little cutie-pie greeted us Tuesday morning!

Maleah was so excited she was trembling!

That face!!  We finally named her Clarabelle and yes, we are keeping her here on the farm.  How could we possibly let her go???

Daisy is the best Mom ever.  She’s priceless as a Mom and nurse cow.

Obviously, Clarabelle will grow up getting lots of hugs and love from us.

The day Clarabelle was born I was a little concerned about Daisy’s right front udder.  It was massive in size and so full of milk that it was just dripping out.  I milked our her udder some to relieve the pressure which she seemed grateful for.  We kept a close eye on her and the calf but that baby would not nurse for anything.  She just wasn’t ready and she wanted no part of it.  All day long the udder continued to fill up again until it was huge and leaking milk again.  So, of course, I milked her out again and I thought I saw a few chunks in her milk.  Please not mastitis!  Sadly, it was.  I tested her milk and it showed a high SCC.   Our vet asked me to wait another day to start treatment since calving can cause a high SCC in itself.  I kept milking out her quarter and her milk looked great with no signs of flakes or chunks.  Her milk didn’t look watery either but her milk seemed to be drying up in that quarter so I was quite concerned.  A few days later we started treating her with some intra-mammary mastitis medicine and milked her out 3 times a day to starve the infection.  We dumped the milk out of that quarter which seemed terrible because she was producing more milk all the time!  All seemed well for a day or so and then she had another high SCC.  Yep, this is my cow.  She’s a trouble maker.  A sweet trouble maker, but a trouble maker none the less.  I should have expected this.  I mean, this is one of our animals.  Of course, it isn’t going to be easy.  It never is.  But that’s farm life and that’s just how it goes for us.  Yep.  Welcome back to my crazy world.

We treated Daisy again for a longer treatment time but the tests were still showing slightly elevated SCC, but with no clinical signs so we waited a few days and then tried a new antibiotic.  Please cross your fingers and say a prayer that this one works.  I LOVE this cow and can’t stand the thought of her not being our milk cow.  Thankfully, each quarter is separate so we are able to treat that one quarter and not the others.  Daisy is currently giving us about a gallon of milk each morning out of only 3 quarters.  I’m pretty tickled about that!

Daisy is teaching her calf to come to us and to respect us.  She’s a great Mom.

The kids love little Clarabelle.  They have even learned how to milk.  Maylin is quite good at it too.

This little face gets me every time!!  When I see her laying down I have to go over and give her a scratch under her chin and a kiss on her forehead.  She needs to get used to that.  I’m sure I’ll do it her whole life!

After Clarabelle was born we kept the cows in the pasture around the barn for almost a week.  This was the first morning I let them out after milking Daisy.  They were so happy to be out again.  Clarabelle was so excited and kept running around everywhere to check everything out.  It was a lot of fun to watch.  That little calf has a wild side though and she is way too curious for her own good.  I told Jim that Clarabelle is the calf version of Maylin.  She’s fearless and precious all at the same time.  Yikes!!!!

So, little Clarabelle is really sweet.  And she’s really energetic.  And she doesn’t always stay with her Mom.  Every morning when I brought Daisy into the barn, Clarabelle would turn into a wild card.  Would she follow? Or would she run around? It would take me twice as long to catch Clarabelle than it did to milk Daisy.  So we devised a plan.  We set up some round pen panels that formed a shute from the pasture to the barn.  Brilliant!  Now, I can just open the gate and let Clarabelle and Daisy into the barn.  Rosie stays in the pasture with some hay and all I have to do is herd little Clarabelle into a separate stall so she isn’t knocking over my milk pail while I milk.  (Yep, I learned that lesson the hard way and even repeated that mistake a few times before I actually learned that lesson.)  After I milk Daisy, I love on Clarabelle for a while and then turn them both back out with Rosie.

Well, the day after Clarabelle was born I went to the ortho dr and was released from my prison, aka the air cast.  Ha!  I’m still not allowed to run or jump or do anything wild and crazy like stairs, (who knew stairs were wild and crazy???) but at least I don’t have to wrap my foot everytime I go outside.  I’m free!!!  As in I can wear tennis shoes again!  Oh, the joy of the small things in life!!

This is the creamy milk we get from Daisy each day. It’s a little hard to see the cream line in this picture but its almost half way down the jar.  That’s a lot of yummy cream!

So, we made butter!  Yummy, yummy butter.  Next, I’m going to try my hand at cream cheese.  Yum!

The end of November came and the kids brought home their school pictures. 

How beautiful is that picture!  Her smile is contagious!

Camden is so adorable!   He looks so much like Jim, yet his hair always sticks up in pictures like mine does.  Sorry Cam.  You get that wild hair from your Momma!

Speaking of school.  The kids love to run all the way up the driveway after school each day.  I stop when I pull in the driveway and they unbuckle and run the 3/10 of a mile to the house to get some energy out.  Who am I to stop that kind of outdoor exercise?  Not this Momma.  I highly encourage it actually!

Thanksgiving finally arrived and was very low key for us this year.  Clarabelle was born the week before Turkey Day so we had somewhat settled into a routine of milking.  We got up and milked and then I started cooking while the kids watched the parades on TV.  That was quite a treat let me tell ya!  We haven’t had TV service in over 5 years now.  We have rented movies or borrowed movies from the library but we haven’t had “instant” TV in years.  I haven’t missed it either!  The commercials are still just as horrible and with over 100 channels the kids still can’t find anything decent to watch.  However, this was part of our “family” Christmas gift so I have to give it a little longer before I cancel.  TV is just not my thing.

Over the summer I rented some Bob Ross DVDs from the library for Maylin to watch.  She learned so much.  This was her first snow scene.  She has some real talent!

Camden typically doesn’t last through much T.V.  He gets comfy and dozes off.  He gets that from his Momma too.

Thanksgiving always starts hunting season and for some reason this year was the year that people decided to be crazy and sneak onto our property to hunt.  Ok, sneak is a strong work actually.  They blantantly drove their black jeep right down beside our fence line and parked.  That’s crazy!  We saw the vehicle several times but everytime we tried to get down there they would hop in their Jeep and roar out onto the road.  We have cameras up over there now and soon we will have yet another locked gate. I just don’t understand people sometimes….  Visitors driving all over during hunting season????  Why?  Just why?

Well, after Thanksgiving Jim wanted to get busy with his dozer again.  He really made some progress clearing for our new house.  He really loves his big boy toys!

Jim does a really good job.  I’m pretty proud of my man!

We knew that we had a lovely view from the new house site, but the more that Jim clears the more I am blown away by it.  The view is almost a full 360 degrees of spectacular mountain ranges. Wow!

As November finally draws to an end I am happy to count all our many blessings of friends, family, health and happiness.   Thank you, Lord, for all your many blessings this year!

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