Huh?  What happened?  Why has it been a month?  Well… life hasn’t worked out well for us.  Three weeks ago my Mom fell in her garden, tripping over a hose, and broke three ribs.  She ended up spending about 2 weeks in the hospital and is now at Delmar Gardens for a bit longer for recovery.  It was touch-and-go at one point, she had gone from 1 liter/min of Oxygen when she checked in to 3 literes, to 5 liters, to 6 liters (almost max) and was having problems breathing do the pain.  Blood clots were forming in her legs and lungs, it wasn’t looking good.  But the doctors pulled here through.  She will be 89 in August, there is no such thing as a minor hospital visit.  My 2nd daughter, Krystal, has been great, often visiting Mom twice a day.  Between her and us, family has been with her about 4 hours a day throughout her hospital stay.  Suffice it to say:  the farm wasn’t visited.

The above event did have me concerned, since the field we had moved the animals too was meant for a 2 week event.  However, the Highlands took matters into their own hands, and per Sonny, after about 2 weeks broke down an interior fence and went back out into the mail fields.  Normally, this would be annoying, this time it was a relief.

Our electric fence is horribly shorted with overgrowth.  Evia spent most of Friday weed wacking around her garden and the fence.  I spent the time brushhogging and trying to reclaim the farm from the overgrowth.  Also manged to stand the kids playset back up.  Its usable, but a bit worse for the wear (amazing what you can accomplish with a chain and a tractor).  We broke for lunch (and to cool down) around 2pm.  Evia when back out to work some more, I attacked our Kubota RTV.  The RTV was due for fluid changes.  About 5 hours later, the oil and tranmission were complete, and the oil, both tranmission, and air filters were changed.  I was surprised when I read the owners manual suggest on the air filter (pleated paper like most):  They recommended blowing it out with 30 PSI air pressure at every oil change, and to only replace it if there was visible holes or after 6 cleaning.  I should note that there is an inner cleaner as well, that should last decades, so anything going through the outer air cleaner would by caught by the inner one.  Also discovered that the muffler had a service port that is suppose to be opened and the unit allowed about 15 minutes of runtime to “blow out” anything that has accumulate inside the muffler with every oil change (about 100 hours of run time between oil changes).  We went for a quick twilight tool in the evening and the Kubota still works, so I guess I did everything OK.

Rose, the last of the 4 sisters to calve, has done so.  We are guessing she gave birth a few days ago.  So everyone we expected to provide a calf now has, although almost a year late for 3 of them.  This puts us at 23 cattle, although one steer is now several months overdue for an appointment with a butcher.  Really REALLY need to find a home for Larry.  Once we are satisified with the butcher (the last on, you may recall, ripped us off of an estimated 125lbs of ground beef), we will need to find buyers for Larry’s brothers – their appointments are fast approaching needing to be scheduled.  That will be a sad day, but it must happen. 

Oh, Roses calf has crop-ear, thats 2 for 2 for her.  Its not a problem, just a genetic thing that Highlands have.  The original breeders called it “Elf Ear”, but the result in short ears that curl.

We are now into 2nd generation calves.  Of the four original yearling heifers we bought, one ran over the neighbors bulls to get pregnant and three were services by Duncan.  The wayward cow had Noshka – a 50/50 Highland/Angus.  The other 3 sisters had Larry, Curly, and Moe – all boys.  Noshka had Sven back in April, a 75/25 Highland/Angus.  Sven is growing nicely, and MUCH faster than his siblings – undoubtedly due to something simply called “Hybrid Vigor” – an effect found when cattle are cross bred.  Sven looks mostly like a Highland – except for a short tail and odd tuffs of light color hair growing down from his ears like micro beards.

Saturday morning found us getting rain – a good thing, but not in our work schedule.  We ended up going into town to buy supplies.  Went to use my Farm credit card just to have it declined.  That was when we remembered that we had received new cards a couple of months ago (even though the old ones were not even close to expiring) with a note to “Please activate but don’t use until <some date that was like 2 months out>”.  Apparently that date has come and gone, and the new cards are back in the city.  Oh well.  Annoying for tax tracking purposes but thats about it.

Enough for now, still a day and a half of this weekend to go.