Monday, February 26, 2007

Will Wonders Never Cease?

I have been so crazy these last few weeks I'm not sure where my head is! We finally have closed the basketball season losing in the District finals on Friday. I hate to say it, but I'm so happy to have my weekends back! I started calving last week and have been averaging about 1 calf a day. I have two heifers (first year moms) that refuse to come in and have been getting up every few hours to drive out in the field and check on them at night. Two nights ago one snuck off though and had her baby. No problems, thank God, but I can't get her in to check if it's a bull or heifer and need to band if it's a bull (put a rubber band around his nuts to make him a steer). Oh well.

Also - Maverick has figured out how to climb fences. Sunday morning was spent trying to Maverick proof the kennel. So far so good, until he finds another corner to climb. I'm glad he's so smart and such a problem solver, but it's beginning to challenge me! And get expensive! He's such a good boy though and I had to hide in the house to get this picture. He waits until I'm gone, jumps up, grabs hold and climbs! I put some chicken wire across the top and he bounce off it a few times until he figured out he was screwed with that maneuver.

But, the real story for the weekend is how amazing animals really are. As mentioned, I'm at the height of calving and recently was up all night with a heifer who lost her baby. He seems to have been dead before birth and came head first, forcing me to catch her in a chute and try and get a leg to pull the calf. My neighbor finally ended up helping me at 4:30 in the morning (they were up calving too), and between the two of us managed to pull the calf. The heifer seems fine, but was a bit depressed at first and wouldn't leave her dead calf. A few days earlier this heifer's mother had had her third calf and was still in the paddock with all the expecting mothers. When I turned the heifer who had lost her calf out with the others, she immediately went over to her mother and started to nurse her little baby brother! Not only did her mom let her do this, but it seems they have teamed up in taking care of the little guy and are sharing him! Isn't it amazing how animals take care of their kids? Even when they are all grown up? I can think of a few people who could learn a few things from these 'dumb' animals.

I wish I had a better picture of all three of them. But they are really protective and want to eat me. This is the 'big momma"! And her daughter looks just like her with red patches over both eyes. The little guy is just too cute for words!

Also - Skiing is awesome this year with all the snow! Here I am braving some arctic weather for thigh deep powder with a few of my students and me with the other sponsor.

Anyway - thought I'd share!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Little Info...

Since I haven't updated in awhile and am feeling guilty...tada! Anyway - way cool trip to Gillette this weekend. I will update this thing eventually with my real life adventures soon.

1. What is your occupation? High School English and Science Teacher, Rancher, Firefighter and contract Forester
2. What color are your socks right now? I’m not wearing any!
3. What are you listening to right now? My dog terrorize one of the cats
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A cheeseburger at the basketball game
5. Can you drive a stick shift? It’s all I've ever owned practically!
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? pink
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Most definitely
9. How old are you today? 28
10. Favorite drink? Alcoholic -Lambrusco, Non-alcoholic - water
11. Favorite thing to watch? The horses run in from pasture
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? yes
13. Pets? Too many too count!
14. What was the last movie you watched? RV
15. Favorite day of the year? Christmas
16. What do you do to vent anger? Go for a horseback ride or long walk with the dogs
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? Grover
18. What is your favorite season? Fall
19. Hugs or kisses? kisses
20. Cherries or Blueberries? Depending on what I feel like
21. Do you want your friends to email you back? YES :)
22. Who is most likely to respond? not sure
23. Who is least likely to respond? Well, since I’m blogging this, probably everybody
24. Living arrangements? House
25. When was the last time you cried? I was a bit frustrated this evening...
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, a spare sock or two, dust?
27. Who is the friend you have known the longest that you are
sending this to? The gals I’ve known the longest who read my blog are probably Lesley and Erin
28. What did you do last night? Drove in from Gillette, WYO with Shane’s bucking stock and crashed (in bed that is)!
29. What is your birth sign? Gemini
30. What/Who inspires you? Mom, dad and hard work
31. What are you afraid of? Having to depend on someone else
32. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheesy and spicy!
33. Favorite dog breed? Boxer crosses or any type of working cattle dog
34. Number of keys on your key ring?, school, truck, parent’s, Shane’s, etc...
35. How many years at your current job? Almost 3 and a tenure!
36. Favorite day of the week? Thursday ... a whole 3 day weekend ahead of me!
37. How many states have you lived in? 2 - MI and CO
38. Favorite holiday? Christmas
39. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery? Yuppers! Both!
40. Who is your favorite College team? Depends on the season...
41. Do you have a house phone that is NOT cordless? I don’t even have a house phone!
42. Prefer 10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather? 10 inches of snow (but not 10 degree weather)!
43. If you could have the chance to talk to 3 people who are dead, who would
they be? My grandfathers, grandmother and Aunt Gail

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggady Jig

Yeah! Again! I'm home! So 47 feet of frozen PVC was unfrozen under my driveway the other day and the leaks under the house we temporarily sealed until warmer weather. I REFUSE to turn off the water until the weather becomes more consistently above freezing, and have a hose running to the septic line constantly to keep that open and always crack either a faucet in the house or a spigot in the paddocks. This is becoming insane, but I will definitely have stories to tell about this winter for years to come it seems. I keep waiting for the next event to occur.

Of course all of this had to come at the worst time possible with the height of basketball season in full swing, me coaching, FBLA district conferences and Homecoming this Friday (which of course I sponsor). I also need to move in my cattle for calving here real quick and I'm supposed to road-trip in to Gillette, WYO with Shane next weekend to pick up some bucking stock. That at least is the highlight of my next few weeks since he's only been home for 2 days in the last 17 and leaves again the week after next. He has no idea this thing exists and isn't a big internet bum so I feel free to share! So far I've really enjoyed the time I've spent with him.

Anywho - hopefully I'll get some pictures up here within the next few weeks and everybody can at least see how beautiful it's been out here despite the cold. It is warming up though, and we're hitting double digits at night and getting above freezing during the day more regularly.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yet Another Chapter in the Life of Danielle's House

Okay,'s not funny anymore. Last night I discovered the pipe to the drain under the house had burst and I now have 'Lake Driveway'. Yeah me. So I've once again moved out, but have a plumber coming to see if it can't be fixed in a few hours. Supposedly this probably had been occuring over a long period of time. Seems the water from the laundry did 'er in last night.

Hopefully it's not so bad the water has soaked into the ground so my house starts to sink come spring...Ha, ha, ha....wouldn't that be the kicker?!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yeah Me!

Yeah! I'm moved back into my house! I kept a heater going in the pump house since it froze and have been keeping my finger's crossed. Last Sunday afternoon it broke through and I have water!!!! Then a few hours later the septic on the south side of the house unfroze and I moved home Monday after school. I didn't realize how stressed out this all had made me and I'm so thankful to all the good thoughts sent my way and all the help my neighbors gave me in hauling water and whatnot. I still have a problem with some septic pipes on the north side of the house, but that can wait until warmer weather.

We've got another cold snap rolling in as I type this, but no fear! I am not turning the water off until it is consistently above freezing EVER again! Currently I have a stock tank running, and though I have a little river running through my pasture because of it...I don't care. See? Lessons learned.

Now that I am safely tucked away back home I can look back a a few incidents fit for the archives and laugh. The tips I have learned:

1) Try to haul water BEFORE temperatures drop before zero so the spigot doesn't freeze. Then you don't have to half drown yourself sucking water through a hose to try and empty out the portable tank.

2) Let the formentioned tank empty of water by hose and don't try and speed the process up by tipping it over once it has become light enough. This may cause you to slip and fall into the stock tank along with the portable tank and freeze your dripping wet rearend to a post while attempting to load the portable back into the truck in shin deep water.

3) Declaw your barn cat so they don't climb to the top of the electric post and get stuck 16 feet in the air after nightfall so your dripping wet rear doesn't have to problem solve and can go inside instead. If this does happen, grab your handy heading rope, stand on the fence next to her and continually swat away until you knock her loose. She may hate you initially, but it beats spending the night in the open. Then go change out of those wet clothes (of course this all happened in one night! What else would you expect from me?).

4) Don't get crabby about your situation. Somebody probably has it worse.

5) Have faith. Sometimes it works!

Thanks again for all the good thoughts!