"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

September 30, 2011

Sad news

Yesterday, while I was at the Lampeter Fair with my mom and sister, Josiah called me with some very sad news.  Jamster has died.  She died of natural causes from either a stomach or heart problem, that is what I was told and I really don't want to know more.  It was very sudden, she seemed fine one day and the next she died.

This may sound stupid to some people, but I will miss Jamster.  There are no other cows like her.  I can't really describe what made her different because there are other cows that are friendly and let me pet them.  Some of them are a little too friendly and try to sneak up behind me to lick me, which I don't like because it scares me.  I could sit down beside Jamster and lean against her or just pet her.  Sometimes she would look at me and put her head on my legs, other times she would just ignore me.  A couple of times she raced me down the feed alley.  I would just be walking along and look over and see Jamster walking with me, trying to get ahead of me (this seriously happened, and one time I was on the feed-pushing tractor).  When I first started helping out in the barn, she was the first cow that let me pet her, the others were still too scared of me because I was new, from then on I looked for her whenever I was in the barn, and she looked for me too.

So I will miss Jamster, but I don't think I will ever forget her, she was my special cow.

Jamster St. Norman: 6/8/06- 9/29/11

September 29, 2011

My loves

Two of my favorites, Josiah and my puppy:

So cute!

Looking in through the window.
I love them!

September 28, 2011

Delicious food

This past weekend we visited our brother-in-law's parents' home in MD for a birthday feast for his dad.  As always when we visit them, the food was delicious and there was an abundance of choices.  I think they had prepared every kind of regular meat, ham, turkey, chicken, and beef.  Then in the seafood category there were 2 whole boxes of crabs, which are my favorite.  And corn-on-the-cob, I like that too!  There were salads of all kinds and for dessert, 4 beautifully made cakes, each a different kind, and brownies and ice cream.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about all that delicious food!


And this is what you do after you eat because you're too full to move.
We had such a great time and such great food!  Happy birthday Paul!  And thanks for having us down.

September 27, 2011

Fair season

It is officially fair season, well it actually has been fair season for a few weeks.  This week is the Lampeter Fair.  And I am especially excited this year because I actually entered some things.  I worked all day yesterday making bread and biscuits and finishing up some art projects.  It has been a really long time since I've entered anything, so that was pretty exciting.  I don't know that I'll win any of the classes that I entered, but it was fun to try.

And I wasn't even thinking about anything but finishing my stuff yesterday, so I didn't take any photos of my bread, or myself (I was covered in flour by the time I was done).  Here are the 3 photos that I did enter (you could only enter a max. of 3, unfortunately).

September 22, 2011

Excitement for the harvest

It has been pretty busy around the farm lately.  Since it hasn't been raining, we have been able to be in the fields to chop most of the corn. 

I think harvest season starts out as one of the most exciting times of the year.  The fields go from being full of nice, tall corn to being bare with only corn stubble sticking up everywhere in just a matter of days.  Just being able to get a good crop in the silo is exciting.

But after a week of long hours, little sleep, eating on the run, and things breaking, the season can quickly become stressful and tedious.

This is what a breakdown looks like:

Thankfully we have had a lot of help and a lot of the work is done!  And we thank God for holding off the rain so that we could get a lot done and for the good crop that he provided.

September 15, 2011

Thanks for the rain today

Normally, during harvest time, I am not very grateful for rain because of all the work that has to be done in the fields.  But today, I was very thankful that it rained, even though we've had more than enough for this year.  Last night Josiah woke up with a fever, so this morning, since it rained, he got to sleep in a lot longer than normal.  Hopefully the rest has helped him regain his strength and energy.

September 11, 2011

Rain, rain, go away...don't come again until we're dry

So we've had lots of rain, we had around 10 inches.  Thankfully we haven't had any damage here on the farm.  All the moisture in the ground will make it difficult to get in the fields any time soon to restart the harvesting. 

A few photos:

This is one body of water that is not normal on our farm.

Why did the heifer cross the "stream"?

I think she's part fish, she loved playing in all the water.

This is the manure lagoon and cover.  The big bubble in the middle is the methane, the water around that was in some places a couple feet deep!
We took a short drive to look at some other flooding in our area:

This farmer had a stream in the middle of his cornfield.

September 7, 2011

Hurry up and wait

Life on a farm is full of periods of waiting.  You have to wait for the milk to be ready to feed the calves.  You have to wait for the silage to come out of the silo before you can feed the cows.  You have to wait for the ground to get dry enough to plant your seeds, then you have to wait for the rain to come to help the seeds sprout (but not too much rain), then you have to wait for the seeds to grow up, to mature plants- corn or rye or whatever you planted.  Then you have to wait for the crop and the fields to be dry enough to harvest.  Then you have to wait for the field to be fertilized with manure and then you have to wait for rain to come to put the manure into the ground for the maximum benefit.  Then you have to wait for good weather to plant the next crop, and the cycle starts all over again.

Right now, the corn harvest has come to a screeching halt because of all the rain that we have been getting.  Once all the rain stops, the corn has to dry down a little bit and the fields have to be dry enough to run the harvester, tractors, and wagons through before any more harvesting can take place.  There is nothing to do but wait and enjoy the rainy days with less work and more time for doing other things with family and friends.  The busyness of the harvest will come soon enough again.

September 2, 2011

Harvesting corn

The craziness, known as the corn harvest, has begun here on the farm.  Which means longer hours and less sleep for everyone.  Hopefully I'll have some pictures coming soon.