Friday, February 22, 2013

Week 8/52: Andy makes friends

If you have been following my blog you know that calving has begun at NoDak Herefords.  You also know that I have been participating in a 52 Week Project where each week I submit a photo with Raggedy Andy in it.  This week Andy finally visited the barn.  He found out that the straw (hay that is on the floor of the pen to help keep it warm) looks like his hair!! 
He made two new friends today. 

This calf was especially snuggly.
(Because we sell bulls, I was told to tell you that this calf has a brother for sale.  Give us a call if you are interested.)

This calf was born just a few hours before this photo was taken. 
Andy tried to ride this bull until he realized he is too flexible and could not sit up!  (Andy is too flexible, not the bull!)

I will be sharing this with Farm Photo Friday

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We are having quite a cold snap here in northern Dakota.  Last night the overnight low was something near minus 35 degrees.  Today's high was about minus 5 degrees.  Tonight it could be about minus 20.  Now these are air temps, any bit of wind makes the wind chill (feels like temp) worse.  Last night they said the wind chill was about minus 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since we are calving now we need to be walking through the cattle herd occasionally.  When it is this cold we are checking every two hours.  What are we checking for?  Well, we are looking for newborn calves or females showing signs of labor.  If there is a fresh calf we need to get the cow/calf pair into the barn and put the calf in a specially built box with a heater so we can warm the little "guy" up.  If they are too cold they could freeze off part or all of their ears or tail or even have damage to their hooves/feet  OR  they could die.  If a female is showing signs of labor then we try to get her into the barn so she has her calf inside (saving moving a calf and it is warmer).  If anything is calving (in labor), then we check on them more frequently until they have their calf.

During the average temps, we will check every 3-4 hours and I take the middle of the night check (about 3 AM).  With this weather, we are taking turns checking.  Tonight (rather tomorrow AM) I will be checking at 3 & 5.  I usually take the night shift because it is easier for me to get back to sleep AND because the men are busy with other chores during the day while I can (hopefully) catch a nap.

I have written about my night checks before in case you are interested in my experience/thoughts from a previous year.

The Fotos by Friends group that I am in has a photo topic of  'Cold' this week.  I thought I would share a couple of the photos that I took that fit the topic.

Here are a bunch of horses.  Some of them have moved here from southern USA so they are not yet accustomed to the cold.  Paige will put a coat on them to help keep them warm.  The ones without coats have lived in the north country forever so they are already toughened up!!

I like the turtle shell coat on this one!  It makes me smile every time I see it.  You can see we have been getting snow during this cold snap too as it has settled onto the backs of the horses.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Stills: The number 7

When I learned of the topic for this week's Sunday Stills I kind of got excited!    You see, there is a 7 in our ranch brand.  I thought that should make it pretty easy for me to participate.  So, here are my submissions ...

This is our brand done with barbed wire.  Beside it is our ranch logo stitched in leather.

Here is a freshly branded calf .

If you would like to learn more about branding, this is a bit about our last session:  Branding 2012

I am sharing this on Sunday Stills.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A pretzel making day

I found a recipe for homemade pretzels a few days ago and have been eager to try them.  Today I finally felt like I had the time to do it.

I have never made pretzels before.  Nor have I every purchased any like this (big & soft).  They just looked tasty so I wanted to make them.

I took a few photos during the process to share with you.

After mixing and forming the ball, this is about 1/3 of the batch.

Then it had to be rolled out like a snake

and shaped like a pretzel.

I ended up with six pretzels.  I used coarse salt on most of them,
but I had some strusel mix that I could put on a couple of them.

They don't look like pretzels!  Here is one of each "flavor". 
We did like them though.  They were soft & chewy and tasty. 

What did I learn? 
1:  I need to use less dough per pretzel - thus get more of the end product.  I should have gotten 8-10 (just like the recipe says), but ...
2:  The dough rises so count for that when making & shaping them - at least if you want them to look like pretzels!
3:  Don't overdo the salt.  Yep, these were a bit salyt.  Lucky for us we could scratch a few of the salt nuggets off.
4:  The sweet ones were really tasty.

Oh, the recipe?  Here is a link:  Homemade Pretzels

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week 7/52: Valentine Andy

Since it is Valentine Week, Andy needed to get some chocolate.  I suppose it should be for Raggedy Ann, but we don't have her so then it could be for me, Annette!!

See, he even has the embroidered heart.  Grandma stitched "I LOVE YOU" in Andy's heart. 

The theme on my Fotos by Friends Facebook Page is "hearts"
so here is an additional photo for the week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Week 6/52: Andy the office helper

I have been busy in the office lately.  I don't necessarily leave book work until the last minute (okay, maybe sometimes) but there is extra that needs to be done when a year is over.  We need to get numbers calculated for three different people (banker, tax man and Adult Farm Management advisor).  They all use the same numbers from our accounting but they like them arranged differently - so I keep adding the same numbers, get different totals and record them for each entity.  I also need to make sure all of the inventory data is up-to-date and the crop and livestock information is all accurate.   Andy thought he could be of some assistance.  He was moral support more than anything! 

I caught him wanting to run the calculator ...

I think I have the 2012 book work all done.  Today I started on the 2013 books - only 1.5 months behind on entering the accounting data!  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday Stills: Circles

One of the photography groups I enjoy has a weekly theme due on Sunday.  (So I am a day late)

This week's theme was "circles".  I have a couple of them I would like to share.

A roll of tin - technically a coil not a circle, but I am not being technical!

Golden Circles
A field of straw that my family baled up to use this winter to help keep the cattle warm.  I think when they were all done baling the acreage there were about 1600 bales (each weighs about 1000 lbs.).  Anyone want to buy some?  They are for sale.
Shared with Sunday Stills

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Week 5/52 - Andy Adventures

Here is what Andy found for Week 5 of my 52 Week challenge.

I feel Safe here!