A new chapter

Wow, our oldest cows are 14 this Spring!
Fanny and M, the start of it all, the best of the best.
These girls have served us well. I wish we had kept more of their daughters. I wish they were registered stock, I wish they were younger…
The cattle that stay with us are ones that were the best of what we had, home grown or purchased. As a matter of fact, these old girls have stayed with us while several registered cows were purchased and resold because they didn’t live up to our standards. Quality, quality, quality.
We have a couple of M daughters who are getting up in age as well, M10 will be 9, Lacy 8. They, like their mama M, have the prettiest udders you’d want to see.
And Beauty, poor old Beauty. A Black Angus bottle calf we raised and a superior producer. Unfortunately, age is not agreeing with her. I am afraid she will not be with us much longer. She will be buried on the farm. No sale barn or butcher for her (same as Fanny). Some just grow too deep in my heart. We do have her fall heifer Fiona who will be one of the few commercial heifers we keep. She’s a Beauty like her mama, but has her daddy’s white face.
Our black white-faced cow, Lucky, she will be 12. Boy she’s been a producer too! I think it’s the Simmental in her that produces LARGE calves that grow fast. She was born on our farm, daughter of a cancer eyed cow that was given to us by a friend. That cow came to us with no guarantee she would even live long enough to have her calf (Lucky) and we knew we would have to do the humane thing and put her down in the coming months. But survive she did and raised Lucky for four months before the time came. To this day Lucky has big beautiful calves and has a near perfect udder.
Of the four heifers Lucky has had we only kept one, Shiny. She has been a good cow as well. Does not throw the huge babies her mama does but a good cow.
The other commercial (nonregistered) cows we have are Fanny Mae, daughter of Fanny; a Shiny daughter from May 2018 (she is for sale); a Lacy daughter, Flower, I darn to say one of our best.
Meanwhile our registered herd has grown.
We bought Vicky, a reserve champion futurity winner as a youngster. She was seven when we bought her. We have every daughter she has produced for us since!
Ginger, purchased from my father who was a Champion Hereford at a couple county fairs. And #60. Both of which we have held back a daughter each from.
With all those registered heifers and cows, we have kept and the purchase of our newest bull, Aces Power Play 807F, this 80-acre farm is filled to capacity. Time to make some decisions and let some of our commercial stock go ☹ So decisions have been made. M, M10, Lucky and Shiny will be looking for new homes soon. Vicky too.
Willie also will be sold. He has produced many beautiful daughters for us that should cross perfectly with Power Play. Willie is young enough to go on o produce calves for some one else as well.
Know anyone looking for a starter herd? 😉 There are more calves in their future to be had.
I will miss them all. I am grateful to them all for getting us to where we are with our herd. If we want to move ahead with our registered stock we they most go. I hate it. Yet I am so excited to be starting a new chapter in our farming life.

 

 

 

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Angels on earth

As the holidays are here it is so nice to see people in the spirit!
One day in particular recently I saw the miracle of the season happen not once, but three times!
One young man I waited on had a $3000 check to cash. I went thru all the proper identification and verification needed to cash it. Another teller asked him some questions also. He had very touching story. He is struggling financially. A coworker he takes break with quite often had lost her husband this year. They have become friends. Not the kind of come to my house to visit friend, but the work friend who you can talk to, really talk to. She had given him a Christmas card, which he locked in his car with intensions to open when he got home. She asked him later in the day if he had opened the envelope. When he said no she asked if it was locked up. He figured he better go see why she was so concerned. Upon opening it he found a check for $3000! She told him that with all her loss this past year she just wanted to help someone else.
He is using the money for car repair and tires. It was such a touching story my fellow teller and I had tears welling up. So did he. He told me we were the first people he had told his story too.

Later in the day a young customer of ours came in. I hadn’t thought about it until just then, but he had not been in in a while. He was limping and having trouble with one arm. I thought he may have been in an accident. I asked if he was OK and what happened. He told me he had brain surgery a couple months ago for a tumor. He was so upbeat and positive throughout the conversation. He talked about how far he has come since surgery, was proud of how high he could raise his arm rather than be upset about how little he could raise it. I truly hope if I should go thru similar someday that I can be that positive. Sad thing is I found out later that his cancer is back and growing quickly. My prayers go up for him. He is only eighteen.

The third angel I encountered at work that day is a state trooper. Not just any state trooper, an Angel Tree angel. He is very involved in the Angel Tree Project. Christmas gifts are collected for needy children in our area. Lists are made of clothes sizes & needs, toys they like. We at the bank and customers can take the list of a child or two or more, shop and bag up their gifts. The bags are then collected up Angel Tree angels. Bags are gone thru to make sure each child receives enough. Extra if bought by the program should any of the bags be lacking. All of which this man helps with on his own time. A busy guy he is, full time job, part time farmer, very involved in his church and Angel Tree as well. And that’s just the things I know of. I sure appreciate people like this man!

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Taking time to enjoy.

Even though we farm on a very small scale when you live on a farm hard work is a given. Plus a 40 hour a week job. Tiring at times. Of course I wouldn’t trade it. Well, the 40 hour a week job for retirement ASAP.

The cattle and horses are what we work hard for. Not hard every day. But we usually spend at least one of our weekend days doing something around the place. Some time both Saturday and Sunday.  Sometimes things need to be done during the week too.

I don’t count taking my walk and checking on the cattle everyday as work. That is pure enjoyment. As is stopping on my walk to pet horses.

This weekend it was finish work to ready for concrete to be poured for two automatic waterers for the live stock. Plus the usual homeowner things like yard work. That was part of our Saturday.  Part of our Sunday we worked to clear brush and small trees from one of the fence rows so we can repair the barbed wire hidden by years of growth.

We also took personal time to truck our bull Eli to the vet for his breeding soundness exam during the week.

I am doctoring an injury everyday on one of the horses. Nothing serious. But it needs daily attention.

None of this is a complaint.  I love what we do. Can’t wait to be retired and have more time to do it AND enjoy things like actually ride my horses.

Today the weather was perfect.  Man,  I love this time of year.

I was not going to let the couch calling, the Patriots playing or everything else indoors stop me. Nor any more outside work.

I went for a trail ride!

I saddled my shortest horse, Sparky, because the thought of lifting a saddle up to my mare Phil, who is 16.1 hands tall, just sounded like too much work. Besides, Sparky is the most quiet and dependable. I just didn’t want anything to ruin the ride.

We didn’t ride far or for long. Just checked out the trails the skidder made when we sold some lumber off the place last year.

It was quiet, peaceful, sunny, and warm. There were butterflies on the purple asters along the trail. We disrupted the nap of a couple of deer. Just what I needed. Yep just what I needed.

Home Décor: not a typical farm post

Ever notice how quickly decor styles change? At least a couple times a year. I guess that’s one thing that keeps the economy strong. People rushing our to buy the latest trend.

As for me, my style doesn’t change much. I am no decor expert. I will add something new once in a while or rearrange what I have. Store some things and take out other things.

When I do update I look for inexpensive ways to do it. I make new pillow covers or curtains (once in a blue moon).

Another way is flowers and napkins.

Since the trend has moved from the all white, a trend I NEVER followed, to buffalo plaid and blue I found a way to add the trends. I’ve used blue and white forever, so that wasn’t a hard fix. I added a few blue flowers I got on sale at Michael’s to my white bouquet and found pretty paper napkins at Walmart.

I think I like it! Just enough without changing everything, for me anyway.

Home Alone Reflecting

My work schedule is for 4 1/2 days a week. Four 9 hour days and a half day. It’s a great schedule. I have a wonderful job. Not high paying, but I like it, great benefits, the kind of coworkers that will be friends for life, and only 5 miles from home.

That being said, I still look forward to my days off. And RETIREMENT. I am a home body. Nothing makes me happier than being on the farm with the critters, except being with my family, on the farm. (Grandkids are GREAT!)

Weekends off with my husband are great. He makes me smile. We work harder on most Saturdays around the farm than we do at work. I love the feeling of accomplishment when we complete a farm, house or yard project. Sundays, sometimes we rest. Some weekends the grandkids sleep over.

But here is just something about a week day off, home alone, work on craft projects, clean house, work in the yard, morning walk and checking cows, whatever…..All Alone….

Today is one of those Home Alone week days off. I am spending my morning enjoying. Catching up on this blog, which has been neglected for a year! Took the dogs for a walk, checked the cattle, got some wonderful photos. Later I plan to start work on some Christmas presents for the granddaughters.

It’s been a morning of reflection for me. Thinking about what a wonderful life I’ve had. Fantastic childhood. Blessed to be married to the best guy I could ever hope for, handsome, hard working, maker of dreams come true. The most awesome grandkids, and two children who have grown in to hard working, creative adults, just good people!

God truly has Blessed me.

Yes, life has thrown some curve ball in, but I am not thinking about those this Glorious September day.

This Is Us

This is us, I love that TV show!
But this is US, just a small farm with a small herd.
We started with a bottle calf, Angus steer, in 2005. Bought Fanny from the same farm as a 4 month old whose mama died in a heat wave. Then traded the bottle calf back as a yearling for Fanny’s half sister M. Yep, not a smart move being in the cattle business, right?
A black steer is worth much more than a Hereford heifer where we lived at the time in NE Missouri. Or was it. 2017 that heifer, M, is still going strong and brought us good income, as are the two M daughters we kept.
When M and Fanny were old enough to breed we used a borrowed bull for our first breeding. The second year they went back to the farm we got them from to be bred. We had WONDERFUL neighbors!
Then we bought Bully who was our herd sire for 7 years. We have four of his daughters still.
The herd has grown, changed, culled, bought, sold….But Fanny and M remain.
We are trying to build our registered herd. Keeping our registered heifer. Bought a few registered cows, some of which we later culled because they just weren’t as good as our commercial cows. Bought a former show cow, Vicky, who has produced nicely for us. We have kept every heifer she has had for us.
Now we have 7 head of registered cows/heifers and our registered bull, Willy. Along with 9 commercial cows and several steers and calves.
This year we are exploring the market of grass fed steers. Hoping to possibly sell locally and not have to take steers to the sale barn.
Pictured is an example of our home grown heifers. This is Fanny Mae, daughter of Fanny.
Our heifers, well we have repeat customers for them. Actually sold some we regret selling. So finding heifers for sale here on Towerview Farm is next to impossible. But then money talks so if you see something you like make an offer 🙂 Better be a good one though 😉

Beautiful Sunday in March

It’s been a while since I have posted, so it about time!

We were blessed with over an inch of much needed rain Friday thru Saturday. The Lord topped the weekend off with a mostly sunny, warm Sunday, which really helped the grass grow. Making the cows, and us, happy.

Laundry washed and hung out to dry, taking advantage of the sun and perfect breeze. Can you smell it? Ahhhhh.  Lawn got mowed, some of the fields were harrowed to spread the winter’s worth of manure and help feed that growing grass. I did some transplanting in my flower beds. With the rain predicted over night and again tomorrow I’d think it’s safe to say my timing was good.

I reflected a good part of the day about a lovely lady we lost last week. Part of our church family in north Missouri, very good friend of my Mom’s. My thoughts of her the first couple days after her passing brought tears, but today, smiles. I wonder if she and Mom have had time for a board game or dominoes yet 🙂

We moved cattle around. Steers and heifers were separated, bull Willy put out with the steers, heifers with the cows, cows let into the horse pasture, horses into the cow pasture. Funny how the grass in a different pasture always seems to taste better to the live stock. Poor steers are the only ones who didn’t get moved to different grass 😦

I discovered today that some of our cows like to be brushed with the shedding blade. First I brushed all the horses and thought I wonder if our Angus cow Beauty would like this. Sure enough. And so did Fanny and Lacy. The cows that aren’t friendly enough to handle like that don’t know what they are missing! Also picked ticks off the horses and the cows that would let me. Ticks are bad this year! Beauty would lift her leg so I could get between her udder and leg easier. She’s no dummy. I love that cow.

I wish my phone took better up close photos. I tend to be a stop and smell the roses kind of girl. No matter how tiny, or if they are even roses. Case in point, what we call weeds that grow in our pastures and yard. Have you even REALLY taken a close look? Spectacular!

Oh ya, our first calf was born on Monday. Heifer. Mama’s first baby. All went smoothly. Jewel is a great mom, didn’t need any help and loves her girl!

Well, it’s been a long day. Work in the morning. Good night All!

January 31

The last day of January and it reached 68 today! Crazy warm even for SW Missouri!
Daffodils are coming up, grass is greening up! Where has our winter been. We did have a cold snap or two where I had to break ice for the cattle to get to their water. There’s been lots of cloudy days, loads of wind. Snow, a few flakes!
I am not complaining. I did some Spring cleaning today, including the front porch where the plants I am wintering over are doing great!
I am a bit concerned about the lack of cold and what that will bring when warm weather really arrives. Are the insects going to take over?

 

Cutting Fire Wood.

All that was left of the 100+ year old oak we cut down last year was the large truck. The tree was not only in the way of where the barn was to be built, but dying as well.

Similar the unknown to me history of the junk cars on our farm, this tree had years of stories to tell if it could. I could easily see where there had been drought years with very little growth going on and good years where the tree grew and grew. Seemed ashamed to have to cut it. I had to remind myself it was dying, in the way and would provided month’s worth of firewood for us.

The tree was in the dog yard where we had just opened up the fence and put in a gate to allow livestock in to graze rather than mow it any more. Our yearling heifer and weanling calves were the first to get to graze in there.

They sure were a curious bunch with the yearling, Crystal being the most curious. She got in so close Phillip had to shoo her away. You would think that noisy chain saw would be enough to scare cattle away!

Thank you old tree for keeping us warm this winter and providing entertainment for our young cattle.

Sunday Morning Walk

Just a peaceful morning walk. It started out by taking my usual walk in the opposite direction seeing as I needed to check on the calf in the wrong pasture.

He went almost 2 weeks with a weaning tag in his nose that is supposed to prevent calves from nursing while still with their mamas. It is the first year we tried them. Weaning was much less stressful on calves and mamas. BUT, once the tags were taken out and we had to separate them from their mamas all were fine, except him and his mama.

There is one pair almost every year, the pair that refuses to be separated. His mama was back with him the next day.

Yesterday we moved the calves to another pasture with one pasture now between them and mamas. Wouldn’t you know this morning he was in the middle pasture trying to get back with his mama. Went thru 2 strand electric fence to do it. I’m am pretty sure by day’s end they will be together again! If we had running water to our catch pen he would be in there for a while.

Of course the horses wanted to see me. Hmm, not really see me but ask in their horsey way to let them into the other pasture. The grass is ALWAYS greener…

On to check the cows and our bull Willy. Willy was put back out with the herd yesterday. We try to schedule calves to be born within two 90 day periods, one in Spring, one in Fall. This breeding will be for Fall of 2017 calves. He seems quite content. 😉

Next was a visit with our old cow Fanny. I love that old girl!

Got back to the house and thought, seeing as I should go check on the weanlings I might was well take a walk on the east side of the farm.

The East side has nice pasture down the middle from our back yard to the east border of the property. On either side is some VERY rough terrain. That’s where I took the dogs for a hike. Photos just don’t shown how deep those ravines are. On the steepest part it is wise to hold onto trees as the soil is gravel and like walking on marbles hidden under the leaves.

Seeing the old junk cars got me wondering about the history of the farm and the history of those cars. Were they just worn out, were they in a crash, were they family vehicles or owned by an elderly couple. I would love the chance to go back in time to see.

Time Change

I absolutely LOVE Autumn! The cool days. Being able to work outside without immediately breaking into a sweat like all summer. Sweatshirt weather, less pesty flies for the livestock, GREAT horse back riding weather, holidays coming, soon, a fire in the fireplace… I love it all! Here comes the BUT!

Since I’ve been working bankers’ hour the last 2 years the Fall Back time change is definitely not my favorite. While morning walks on work days have been done in the dark in recent weeks and can now be done in semi day light I know that is only short lived. We still have another month and a half of days growing shorter, so soon my morning walks will again take place in the darkness.

Not that that is a big deal. I know the route around the pasture and have 3 loving dogs to protect me from what goes bump in the darkness 😉

Evening on work days will be the worst! I will watch the sun go down from my work station and drive home in the dark. Making evening walks happen in the dark too.

The best thing on those dark evenings will be coming home on cold days to a fire in the fireplace keeping the house toasty warm.

I tend to want to hibernate when it gets dark early. But with Christmas on the way I will need to stay awake and work on Christmas gifs I have in the works. (Photos will come in a later post)

To count my blessings, I have a good job with wonderful people and luckily our work schedule is 4 1/2 days a week. That gives me 2 full days off and one half day to enjoy my time out doors. I could be 5 dark evenings, so for that I am very thankful.

Yes Autumn, I love you! But can’t we have you in the Spring?

 

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